Psychiatrists (especially this one) have a conflicted relationship with technology and particularly internet-based programs. On our main Shrink Rap blog, we have posted quite a bit about issues the psychiatrist grapples with as we figure out how new technologies can be helpful. I will post some links at the end of this article, and pleae do check out my post on Clinical Psychiatry News on Siri and the Psychiatrist.
Why are psychiatrists conflicted? Well, like everyone else, we're struggling with ways to harness technology to make for better medicine: to improve communications in a way that promotes safer care when it comes to issues like drug interactions and med/psych historical information that help with accurate diagnoses. We're also looking for ways to lighten our work load and make ourselves more efficient. Oh, and a lot of the toys and apps and social networking stuff is very fun!
So what's the conflict? Well, so far, there are many concerns about confidentiality and discretion in all realms of techno-life and psychiatrists and their patients may be very sensitive about these issues. Electronic Medical Records have traditionally excluded psychiatric notes, though that is changing, and concerns about sensitive information are increasing. What about a single psychiatrist's computer notes-- who can access them if he backs them up on a cloud, much less what happens if they are submitted to a centralized medical record that can be accessed by other health care workers?