Nov. 12 — Dr. Robert Wachter

Thursday, November 12, 2015
7:45-8:15am Continental Breakfast
8:15-9:15am Forum

Dr. Robert Wachter
in conversation with Terrence McNally

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age

500 South Figueroa Street
Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90071

$20 General Admission
$45 Includes Wachter’s book 

Robert Wachter is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directs the 60-physician Division of Hospital Medicine. Author of 250 articles, he coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is generally considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a recipient of the Eisenberg Award, the nation’s top honor in patient safety. For the past eight years, Modern Healthcare magazine has named him one of the 50 most influential physician-executives in the U.S.; he was #1 on the list in 2015. He has been profiled in The New York Times and contributes regularly to The Wall Street Journal.

For the past few decades, technology has been touted as the cure for all of healthcare’s ills. But medicine stubbornly resisted computerization – until now. Over the past five years, thanks largely to billions of dollars in federal incentives, healthcare has finally gone digital.

Yet once clinicians started using computers to actually deliver care, it dawned on them that something was deeply wrong. Why were doctors no longer making eye contact with their patients? How could one of America’s leading hospitals give a teenager a 39-fold overdose of a common antibiotic, despite a state-of-the-art computerized prescribing system? Why would a recruiting ad for physicians promote the absence of an electronic medical record as a major selling point?

In The Digital Doctor, Dr. Robert Wachter examines the unforeseen consequences of information technology in the healthcare industry. With clarity, insight, humor, experience, and compassion, it tackles the hard questions, from how technology is changing care at the bedside to whether government intervention has been useful or destructive. 

Terrence McNally, a strategic communications consultant who helps organizations tell better stories, hosts a weekly interview show on the Progressive Voices Network on TuneIn and a monthly podcast with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. All podcasts can be found here.  For 17 years he hosted an interview show, Free Forum, on KPFK.


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