Archive for 2011


This entry is part 14 of 43 in the series Words

No, I’m not talking about a system error message like Windows’ infamous “Abort, Retry, Fail?” I’m talking about active cognitive ignoring. This occurred to me as I’ve been using an electronic medical record system called DocuTAP. It has many very, very busy screens, each with a hundred or so items from which to choose. But […]



This is not directly related to medical informatics, but it is a user-interaction topic, and has some lessons for the usability of medical software. First: Unlike many nerds, I like Microsoft Word. It’s a mature product and works well. It has many complications into which one may delve, and for those who want to delve, […]


Dialog-Box Rooms

This entry is part 13 of 43 in the series Words

An experimental study recently (late 2011) ballyhooed in the press looks at how we tend to forget things as we move into a doorway, and that walking back into the room doesn’t help you recover the memories. (Duh. I could have told anyone this. As could everyone.) Not sure why prior studies on the same […]


Cognitive Friction

This entry is part 12 of 43 in the series Words

The Whorf-Sapir hypothesis says that our language shapes how we think. It’s been moderately debunked in recent decades, but it’s likely true, at least in small part. And one of those small parts is when someone coins a new word that encapsulates a new idea. There has been a debate within philosophy since Plato’s time […]



This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Charting

“This job would be great if I didn’t have to chart.” Physicians say this all the time. One way to not have to chart (much) is to work with a Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) team. Although the National Disaster Medical System now has an electronic medical record (EMR) system, it used to just […]