"Things did not go so smoothly at Children's Hospital of
Pittsburgh, which installed a computerized health system in 2002.
Rather than a godsend, the new system turned out to be a disaster,
largely because it made it harder for the doctors and nurses to do
their jobs in emergency situations. The computer interface, for
example, forced doctors to click a mouse ten times to make a simple
"Why did similar attempts to bring health care into the
twenty-first century lead to triumph at Midland but tragedy at
Children's? While many factors were no doubt at work, among the
most crucial was a difference in the software installed by the two
institutions. The system that Midland adopted is based on software
originally written by doctors for doctors at the Veterans Health
Administration, and it is what's called "open source," meaning the
code can be read and modified by anyone and is freely available in
the public domain rather than copyrighted by a corporation."
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