Archive for February, 2012


This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Charting

“Out of sight, out of mind.” Ever heard the one about the early translation program that converted this aphorism into Chinese and then back? It came out as “invisible idiot.” Regardless, “out of sight, out of mind” is a good general psychological principle. In any nuclear power plant control station, air traffic control center, AWACS plane, aircraft cockpit, or any busy and confusing medical setting whether […]



This entry is part 18 of 43 in the series Words

Neatness counts. Trying to find my way from the entrance of my 12 year old daughter’s bedroom to the bed to kiss her goodnight, especially if barefoot, is considerably more dangerous than most of the search and rescue and disaster operations I’ve been on. Navigating the screens of medical software often seems like walking in […]



This entry is part 17 of 43 in the series Words

When using a point-and-click medical charting application (of which there are a zillion, and I think I’ve used maybe a half-zillion) there are many designs, but I’ve recently realized there is a way to divide them into two types. There are one-layer charting apps and two-layer charting apps. I’m not talking about computer layers, I’m […]



This entry is part 16 of 43 in the series Words

I was just a few seconds ago scanning a page of possible tests in the program DocuTAP, a list of about fifty items, to enter an order for an EKG. On the list, everything is in ALL CAPS. Even though I knew the approximate location of what I was looking for, it took me a long […]


What’s in a word?

This entry is part 15 of 43 in the series Words

What’s in a word? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) OK, I cheated. I changed “name” to “word.” It sounded better for the purposes of this essay, which is about the need to choose words carefully. Yes, I changed a word […]