Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Health IT Personnel: Want To Bone Up On Technology? Try This

An interesting article appeared in an IT journal that merits brief mention with respect to electronic health records:

"Want to bone up on wireless tech? Try ham radio"
Computerworld, October 29, 2009

I find it interesting in that in no interaction that I recall with IT personnel, my amateur radio background and the deep understanding of technology it imparted seemed of interest or value to them.

Key point in the article:

"For IT professionals, ham radio can foster skills that are translatable into real-world wireless and wired networking applications."

I would extend this to many other IT-dependent areas.

Unfortunately, many IT personnel - and many so called physician directors of information systems - seem to be "appliance operators", a term hams use to describe people who can push buttons but lack a depth of understanding of what goes on "inside the box". Also expressed in ham radio terms, I have found most IT personnel in hospitals to be at the "CB operator" level of technological understanding, where "computer" equates to "cybernetic miracle," and computerization equates automatically to "improvement."

Breaker, breaker, big buddy!

For IT personnel, studying and then securing a ham radio license and experimenting might give them the technical skills they need to be more fully in control of their systems, rather than the systems being in control of them.

This physician-informaticist diagnosing and treating ailments in an electronic patient, the classic Ten Tec Corsair II amateur radio transceiver.

Such expertise could also help ameliorate the problems noted on this site regarding healthcare IT.

-- SS

(Amateur radio, extra class)

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