Software must not manipulate the physicians:” The IT Challenge to Patient Care


  • Dirk Thomas Hagemeister



Information technology plays an increasingly important role in the medical working environment. Besides facilitating improvements in the quality of health care, it might also bear some unwished effects. Examining the „m aking? of a diagnosis and the role it plays in m odern m edicine leads to the question how far this pro cess of „diagn osing? m ig ht be affected b y the „tech nical su rroundings?. A num b er of exam ples from clin ical medicine in the hospital and the ambulatory sector illustrate the way IT is being utilised in modern medicine. A tw ofold negative effect could result from this „com p uterisation?: Firstly, the technical requirem ents for the use of IT might force the process of diagnosing to be adapted with subsequent wrong or altered diagnoses. Secondly, constraints like cost control might be facilitated by IT and thus its application might cause the doctors trying to avoid such pressures by modifying the diagnosis and potentially worsening treatment and outcome.




How to Cite

Hagemeister, Dirk Thomas. 2006. “Software Must Not Manipulate the physicians:” The IT Challenge to Patient Care”. The International Review of Information Ethics 5 (September). Edmonton, Canada:6-12.