If you’re a first year medical resident today, you’ve grown up with iPhones, iPads, Google, Facebook, and Waze. But as soon as you walk onto a hospital floor for your first rounds, you’re still handed a clipboard, pen, pager, and pointed to an electronic medical records system that has more in common with a bank teller console from the 1980s than with Waze. With an assist from incentives and mandates from the Federal Government, hospitals have come a long way in terms of technology. Medical records are largely electronic and systems control most processes in a hospital. And yet this hasn’t yet made it easier for hard working doctors and nurses to deliver quality care.
This is why we built Dorsata. Our mission is to make it as easy for a care provider to navigate the optimal delivery of care as it is for you to get anywhere with Waze.
We are glad that you’ve found your way to our blog. After months of development, engineering, iteration, and tweaking, we are ready to introduce ourselves. To this end, I wanted to give you a good idea of what we stand for as a company that is working tirelessly to help doctors and nurses get back to what they got into healthcare in the first place to do - provide the highest quality, patient-centered care.
Dorsata is a technology company that is part of fundamental shift in how healthcare is being delivered. Never before has the medical community been given the capacity to influence broad transformation at scale. There are many reasons for this fundamental shift. Some of this has to do with the introduction of technology on the clinical floor. 15 years ago, only a small percentage of the market had access to electronic medical records, cell phones (not smartphones but cell phones) were unheard of. Today, thanks to the federal government’s major mandate for electronic medical records (which definitely came with it’s own Pandora’s box of problems), nearly every clinical staff member has access to an electronic interface for accessing, evaluating, and acting upon patient data. Increasing the adoption curve of new technologies is the sheer fact that each day, another long-time physician or nurse retires and is replaced by a new doctor or nurse that has carried a smart phone for years and has grown accustomed to the Internet being the first source of information, no matter the topic (thanks Google!). Every new clinical staff member has matured in the age of social media, where it is easy and seamless to consume and share information and knowledge.
Unfortunately, when each of these individuals enter the existing healthcare system, they are thrust into a world of technology that looks nothing like that which they are are accustomed. And worse, the tools they are forced to use provide limited opportunities for improvement. Legacy IT systems, built for purposes other than clinician efficiency and efficacy (see billing), are taking all the fun and delight out of clinical care. Doctors don’t spend 7+ years training to spend 4 hours per day/4,000 clicks inside of clunky and antiquated software. Modern software can be designed and built to be delightful, easy, and efficient. Further, the way that healthcare professionals are paid is being threatened and punished without accompanying tools and resources to fix the problems that are driving these threats. There is strong desire, willingness, and motivation amongst large sectors of our clinical users to drive these changes. They just need the tools.
There are many forces and factors at play here, but ultimately, they all lead back to people. Patients are people. Doctors are people. Nurses are people. And people have to be able to use technology. Dorsata is committed to giving the people that have the responsibility and desire to transform healthcare the ability to do so - the clinicians. No algorithm can replace the ability of a physician’s bedside manner and a nurse’s empathy and compassion. However, that doesn’t mean that technology can’t be used to give clinicians more time to do these things. Further, when the physician spends less time performing as a data entry clerk and more as an empathetic clinician both provider and patient satisfaction improves.
It is our job at Dorsata—and as a broader community of healthcare technology companies—to build technology that provides more time for patient care, not less. The only way to do this effectively is to build these tools from the ground up - directly at the hip of those that are experiencing these inefficiencies and forces every day. If our tools are to be used by these people, then these people should be the ones guiding our creative processes. Too many people have been forced to use ineffective and inefficient products simply because the builders failed to appreciate the day-to-day challenges their users face. At Dorsata, we are different. We have — and must maintain — a relentless focus on how the clinicians interact with and use our products.
We plan to use this space to talk about topics that we think are exciting and pertinent to clinicians, technologists, and business people. Please join us in our mission to help clinicians build the next generation of healthcare technology. You can reach me any time at david [at] dorsata [dot] com. We’d love to hear from you.