Aug 1, 2009

Intel Inside

Ever heard of Intel?

Yes, the silicon giant that pretty much dominate the computer world. For now.
If you really do read news from abroad, there is actually a new invention of computer with bacterial (yes, those microorganism) that successfully solve complicated mathematical problems faster than the conventional computer. An innovation still at its infancy stage.

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If you’re really accustomed to computers (who doesn’t nowadays), there’s this famous logo of Intel Inside which is the pride logo of Intel.

And someone went a step further, and came up with the parody of this logo, by adding few words outside, making it.

With my hospy pretty much pushing forward into the world of IT, we’re treating more computers than patients. Probably computers doesn’t complain as much as the patients.

Few weeks back, I was on call and I almost fainted when I was in the middle of the “Intel inside, Idiots outside” scenario.

And here goes the real story about how the smartest people do the most stupid thing. Ever.

“Ring, ring, ring.”

I received the call from my colleague. I went to OT immediately, waiting to perform a C-Section for a mother with her dearest baby in distress.

As I changed to the OT blues, I received another call. This was from the house officer conveying to me that my specialist was actually also suspecting that unfortunate mother having placenta abruption as well, which means bleeding from the placenta. That could mean the baby would probably be in worse prognosis.

I went to the nursing counter.

“Yes, Dr, the patient is already at the door.”

I waited for 10mins. Another 5mins. Another 5mins. Then everything got weird. A simple OT entry checklist doesn’t require a freaking 20mins.

I actually was pretty worried and I peeked into the ‘transition’ room.

In front of my eyes, the nurses, almost 4 of them, kept on clicking on the computer, refreshing the OT slate, waiting for the patient’s name to pop up.

“Why patient can’t come in yet?”

“Nama dia takde dalam komputer lar..”

“Eh, ini fetal distress dengan abruptio. Jika ini anak kamu, kamu nak tunggu lagi ke?”

“Ini matron punya order la… Kena ikut”

Immediately, I was totally baffled at such an idiocy and pushed the patient into the OT, awaiting my anaest colleague rapid pre-op assessment. Postoperatively, indeed there was 200cc of retroplacental clots. The baby was admitted with some good degree of respiratory distress. In my personal opinion, could have been better.

Matron, supposedly the chief of all head of nurses, came up with this so-called I-D-E-A after received complaint that operation performed in the OT was not entered in the computer. Every now and then, if it was a life-saving procedure, surely there should be some sensible allowance for the delay in entering the name into the OT slate. And for the nurses, the so called medical professionals, of whom, the public trusted their life with everyday, followed the I-D-E-A without a single hint of intelligence or conscience regarding the possible morbidity that the delay may cause.

A classical tale of “Intel inside, Idiots outside” telling us how mankind slowly loses our human touch and wisdom in the companionship of the computer.

The tyranny of machine and artificial intelligence in The Terminator may be a fiction. But somehow, fiction can’t be too far from the real thing.

Frankly, I crossed my fingers with hope that this incident isn’t just the tip of the iceberg.


fibrate said...

Oh, can I also borrow this space to rant about certain "paperless" hospitals which push patients across the state border because they are "full" and the computer cannot register any more new patients? Of course, we're never full, even if the ward meant for 32 patients is already housing over 55, many in SBs and EBs (side beds and extra beds - I can never figure out the numbering system)!

We're slaves of our doing to this thing called technology

pilocarpine said...

@fibrate: be my guest...

Michelle Mak said...

i promise i will be not be idiot outside in the future aight? :D