Physicians encountering a new technology such as electronic health records (EHRs) typically use it to solve the same problems they were trying to address with older technologies. It takes time to determine that the new technology creates entirely new possibilities for practice. For instance, when the electrocardiogram was first invented, it was thought to be a better version of an older technology, the Mackenzie polygraph.1 The Mackenzie instrument, which made a simultaneous visible record of mechanical events (radial pulse, jugular venous pulse) in the cardiac cycle, was a powerful tool in unlocking the problem of cardiac arrhythmia. Initially, the electrocardiogram was considered simply a “better polygraph” and was used only to understand arrhythmias. Because the T wave and ST segment do not have mechanical equivalents, early electrocardiographers ignored them, overlooking tracing changes now considered classic for acute myocardial infarction. Similarly—but perhaps not surprisingly—physicians today often consider the EHR to be simply a better version of the paper chart.
Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more
Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features
Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)
Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
and access these and other features:
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.