Paging Dr. Technology


Does your doctor use an iPad, tablet, laptop, or computer at any point during your check up? I for one have experienced several doctors utilizing technology during a doctor’s appointment, paying more attention to the technology than my medical concerns.

Information technology is being implemented across the medical industry. Paper has become a nonentity, and more doctors are straying away from the old fashioned version of record keeping. Digitalizing records, and utilizing electronic health records to supervise patients’ medical histories is becoming the new norm. However, productivity will decline if this new technology is not executed correctly.

According to the article, How Electronic Patient Records Can Slow Doctor Productivity, the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) should be advantageous to all medical institutions, but “in general, larger offices in the study that employed EHRs recorded productivity gains, but certain types of smaller practices lost productivity.”

When EHRs are applied, they can create subtle changes within the practice, thus ultimately changing the way the operation functions. The “communication patterns” of the staff become incompatible, and doctors, nurses, and clinical staff are finding themselves spending more time working on the systems than with patients. This in turn, is extending their workday, they now have to do more work, and they may lose business from disgruntled patients.

EHRs were originally put into operation to promote efficiency and make patient care safer. EHRs allow for “patient data to be shared relatively easily between providers within a given practice” and eliminate the possibility of penmanship errors. The best part about EHRs is that they can immediately detect errors that are made, which makes this type of record-keeping effective and beneficial to the medical field.

Higher levels of production in some medical institutions have seen high productivity; these institutions utilized more EHR usage and increased delegation. Larger medical facilities now hire an EHR staff and that staff becomes responsible for maintaining the data, entering the data, and also helping all other staff with EHRs.

The article hypothesizes that smaller medical institutions are more face-to-face oriented, and focus on establishing a doctor-patient relationship through communication. Additionally, some smaller medical institutions do not have the means to pay for an increase in their EHR systems or an EHR staff to promote delegation within the office.

The article concludes with this statement: “We often look at systems on the basis of their technical capability, the fact that they can store this many records or process that many requests in this period of time. But when we ask how that technology can improve productivity, we have to consider that the true capability of the system depends on the context in which it is adopted.”

Why do you think that productivity declines for some institutions? Do you feel that these new information technology systems are beneficial? Or are they creating a rift in your doctor-patient relationship?





“That’ll do Pig. That’ll Do”

Every time a product is created, its destiny is to live through its product cycle, until it reaches its final phase. And then it dies. As we’ve learned, the product goes through four phases: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. One product that we all know and love has hit the first three of its phases, but is its decline imminent?

And that product is ….

It’s so good….you have to hide it.


Bacon, the delectable, cured meat that comes from the back, belly, and sides of a pig, is distinctly known for its fatty and smokey taste. According to the the article, The Bacon Boom Was Not An Accident, “in the past decade, bacon has grown into an industry generating more than $4 billion in annual sales.” This is an incredible feat for the once “breakfast-only” meat. 

When bacon was in its introductory phase, this pork belly meat was still being tweaked for its market. Consumers only bought this meat as a side with their breakfast, or when the tomatoes were ripe for a good ‘ole BLT sandwich. Bacon was only consumed in a “predictable, seasonal pattern.”

Everything changed in the 1980s, as new “health and diet trends transformed the American food industry.” These new trends influenced consumers to “eat lean meat, avoid saturated fats and cholesterol, and ultimately created a fat phobia.” The pork industry defied the phobia and launched a new campaign that was pro-pork. This “Pork: The Other White Meat” campaign enhanced the product demand for lean pork cuts. With the aid of advertising and marketing firms, “the Pork Marketing Board positioned the pig as a sort of four-legged chicken.” Bacon, through its pork industry’s efforts, emerged victoriously through its growth phase as a now stabilized product in its already existing market.

During the 90s and early millennium, bacon entered its maturity phase and became the new craze. Bacon was finally featured everywhere, from fast food restaurant chains to grocery stores. People were buying bacon because they loved the taste, and did not care if the fatty food posed any health risks. “Sales of bacon increased dramatically, and vastly more variety appeared in the form of brands, cuts, flavors, and sizes.” To name just a few of the varieties, we can buy thick cut, center cut, low sodium, applewood smoked, and peppercorn bacon. In some areas, we have gourmet flavored bacon foods, which include ice cream, coffee, gum, potato chips, and cheese spreads. Even our pets are getting in on the bacon craze with bacon now being prominent within pet food.

Bacon is no longer your mother’s baked pork and beans. The popularity of bacon has caused meat packers to be more competitive to obtain a higher market share. Surprisingly, although their is stiff competition for market shares, “pork bellies, long dormant, began moving up in price, from under 30¢ per pound in 1989, to almost a dollar in 2006.” The prices have significantly changed “from about $3 a pound in 2005 to around $5.40 today, according to government statistics.” Even with the prices rising for bacon and pork cuts, people are still willing to buy this product, and there doesn’t seem to be a decline in sight. 

When do you think bacon will hit its decline phase? Will it ever hit its decline phase? Will you still pay top dollar for your bacon fix?



Gif #1: tumblr_mqq4feeihi1s4cw17o1_250.gif

Gif #2: tumblr_mw2pvcTen51siiiglo1_500.gif