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Online Antics

Clinicians are still struggling with relating information technology to their jobs. No, I am not referring to the dilatory uptake of electronic patient records, but to social media.

The Daily Telegraph reported the social networking antics of doctors who made references to 'birthing sheds' (maternity units) and "cabbage patches" (intensive care, from CABG). The former was regarded as worse by a consultant because it entailed having to work with 'madwives'. On being questioned online about their opinions, the doctors resorted to some unconvincing post hoc rationalisation.

Now doctors are not the first to have posted unwisely on social networks. Politicians and policemen have also been caught out. Still, you wonder how many employees of other organisations could get away with being so disparaging of their customers and colleagues.

This coincides with the removal of the combinations to locks posted on patient records on the national Patient Demographic System (PDS).

Do we see the mistakes of an industry taking its first awkward steps into the information age?

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