PC Literacy Expectations Gone Mad

  oresome 17:16 16 Jan 2008

A friend related the following story after a visit to her doctors.

On arrival, she approached reception to let them know she was there. She was steered to a PC in the corner and told to book herself in and was given a quick demo by the receptionist.

With a bit of help, she managed.

The next person in looked to be in his eighties. He was ushered over to the PC and a similar quick demo followed.

He stood there looking bewildered, holding on to a stick with one hand and poking the keyboard with the other. Probably never used a PC or keyboard in his life, was a little hard of hearing, poor sighted and needed more time than the receptionist had available to explain how to do it.

He muttered that he wouldn't have to be ill in future. My friend got up and assisted him with the booking in procedure.

Bearing in mind that the majority of GP visits are made by the eldery, is this an appropriate method to use?

I think not and cannot imagine that it eases the workload of the receptionist.

  octal 17:45 16 Jan 2008

That's terrible, my mum is 93 and quick witted but I know she would struggle with something like this. Old people get confused as it is without foisting technology on them that wasn't around during their learning years. I know there are quite a few silver surfers around who would manage, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

It sounds like a cost cutting exercise to me, sounds like the receptionist is on the way out.

  cycoze 17:56 16 Jan 2008

I think it is an awful idea ! if people are unwell they do not want the hassle of concentrating at a computer, it may be a way of keeping the receptionist
less busy letting fitter computer literate patients use the system, but people who just want to speak to the receptionist should be allowed to.

  babybell 18:24 16 Jan 2008

and i must say it does give the receptionist a lot more time to deal with other queries such as blood results and the like. However, if an elderly patient or someone who has never seen a PC in their lives cannot work the computer then the receptionists will happily sign them in manually. I think this is probably the better idea, rather than "everyone must sign in using the PC"

  Pine Man 18:37 16 Jan 2008

My surgery has it and it has no keyboard, merely a large touch screen which couldn't be easier to use. I have never seen anybody have any problems with it and several languages are available.

All you have to do is touch a number from 1 to 31 which is your birthday and then a number from 1 to 12 which is the month of your birthday followed by Male or Female. Hardly taxing and very efficient

  CatTrading 18:48 16 Jan 2008

It's all to do with the over priced & failing NPfIT.
Meant to make it 'easier' for patients & staff.
Biggest shag-up since dunkirk!

  Pine Man 19:19 16 Jan 2008

'Meant to make it 'easier' for patients & staff.'

Good to see you are on board. Everybody at my surgery is very pleased with the way things are going. No longer do you have to queue to book in for your appointment now - just use the touch screen computer and sit straight down. If you are on line at home you can make an appointment to see the Doctor of your choice, when you want to without having to 'fight' a receptionist on the phone and you can also order repeat prescriptions on line.

Much, much easier for patients and staff.

  Totally-braindead 19:46 16 Jan 2008

If you are computer literate then its a good thing. If you know nothing about them then its really unfair to expect someone to use it.

If the scenario described is entirely accurate then the receptionist is not doing her job, it should have been rather obvious that the elderly person had no idea what they were to do and they should have helped.

If the receptionist couldn't help as it was too time consumming or whatever then it would be up to her to tell her boss that the system doesn't work with everyone and something would have to be done for the older patient who knows nothing about PCs. Such as having another member of staff there to help those that can't use PCs.

  oresome 19:50 16 Jan 2008

Pine Man,

Have you anything to support the "Everybody at my surgery................" opinion?

I accept that this and some of the other features you have make it easier for some patients, but not the very elderly who are those most likely to be ill.

  sinbads 21:02 16 Jan 2008

I think its a good idea and does cut down the queues and frees up time for the receptionists; however No touch screen or computer will help the elderly that only get confused by a computers and or, patients that suffer with sight problems cateracts/poor vision or suffer with litracy and numeracy problems beit young or old, This is where the receptionist should use common sense and book the person in manually. This is the way it happens in my surgery.

  Pine Man 21:08 16 Jan 2008

Unfortunately I spend a lot of time at my Doctors and apart from feed back I have there the thing that really brings it home is actually watching the patients use the touch screen and, believe it or not, the elderly are the ones who appear to manage better than some of the others.

Obviously some patients, not just the elderly, cannot use the new system but now, of course, the receptionists are less busy and more able to help them.

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