I had the pleasure of attending the Hm13 workshop, “e-information Management 101,” a panel discussion led by Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, FHM, of the University of Chicago, Anuj Dalal, MD, FHM, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Cheng-Kai Kao, University of Chicago, and Roger Yu, MD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This very useful presentation was filled with specific tips and techniques that physicians can use to control and organize the constant, daily stream of e-information.
Here is a summary of key information from the panelists:
- Many people are starting to find success using the GTD Method, based on David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” The basic premise is to learn to touch an item once and act on it once. If an item requires action, either do it, delegate it or defer it. If an item does not require action, either file it, delete it or incubate it for possible later action.
- Learn to reduce email volume. For example, unsubscribe from listservs you no longer use or need. Learn to reduce the “perception” of email volume by keeping personal email separate from work email, and using rules and filters to reduce the volume of email to your main email inbox.
- The use of mobile devices in the hospital setting offers many opportunities for integration into your daily workflow. These devices can be used to look up drug databases, access formularies, show patients radiographs or CT scan images, or read articles for CME credit.
- We need to learn to pull information when we need it, rather than having it pushed to us. We should “push” information when it is high priority, high awareness, such as emails from your boss. We should “pull” information when it is low priority, low awareness, such as journal alerts or table of contents.
- Physicians should start to embrace cloud computing. These applications allow you to access and store files on a distant storage server from any device, such as desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Cloud computing helps to prevent multiple copies of files from existing in multiple sites. It also allows collaboration on presentations or papers from multiple users who can be physically located anywhere in the country. TH
Dr. O'Callaghan is a member of Team Hospitalist, and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital