Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computers: Poor Placement Does Not Compute In Medical Exam Rooms

Date:
July 12, 2005
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Placement of the computer in the exam room is critical to the communication between doctor and patient according to an Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute, Inc., study.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Doctors "talking" to computer screens instead of patients during a physical exam is a problem easily cured, say researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

Their comprehensive study of the effect of exam room computer placement and the doctor-patient relationship appears in the August issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The researchers found that doctors with poor communications skills tended to get lost in the computer, interacting with it rather than the patient. Doctors with good communications skills used eye contact and posture to show interest even while working on the exam room computer.

"You may have a great diagnosis but if you can't communicate it to the patient, he or she may not follow-up appropriately," said Richard Frankel, Ph.D., author of the study. Dr. Frankel, Professor of Medicine and a medical sociologist.

Dr. Frankel notes that other studies, including many pioneering ones from Regenstrief researchers, have examined the effect of computers on patient outcomes and quality of care, but have not evaluated the impact of technology on doctor-patient communications. His study investigates the impact of technology on the professional interaction between patient and physician.

The placement of the computer in the exam room is critical to the communication process, the new study determined.

"If the computer is poorly positioned, it either gives you a really sore neck from turning around if you want to engage your patient or you wind up with the back of your head to the patient," said Dr. Frankel. "This really created difficulties for a lot of the doctors we studied. They would do one of two things -- they would either not use the computer or they would not pay attention to the patient.

"Other technology in the exam room has a known relationship to the ecology of the room. The blood pressure cuff is typically sitting next to exam table and its placement varies very little from room to room. But with computers, we found they could be anywhere in the exam room where it was convenient to drop the wires," said Dr Frankel.

Ideally, the computer should be placed on a moveable arm that can be swiveled to a position that allows for eye contact between the doctor and patient, he said. Eventually, he hopes that medical school students routinely will be taught how best to use computers when interacting with patients.

###

The study was funded by Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Memorial Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Computers: Poor Placement Does Not Compute In Medical Exam Rooms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050711014831.htm>.
Indiana University. (2005, July 12). Computers: Poor Placement Does Not Compute In Medical Exam Rooms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050711014831.htm
Indiana University. "Computers: Poor Placement Does Not Compute In Medical Exam Rooms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050711014831.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins