Pharyngula

It’s a whole new world I’m not in the least bit interested in exploring: it turns out that healthcare information technology people have professional blogs about their field, which is cool and useful, but the jargon is impenetrable, the acronyms prolific, and the subjects tend to be far from my interest areas. But that’s cool, the feelings are probably mutual, and everyone has got to follow their own path, so I have no objections at all — I’m just warning you that you generally won’t find much to get you excited on these things.

But still, I was sent a link to a weird blog entry, and as a recent patient at a hospital, I had to object to a few little annoyances. First is a rather inflated sense of importance.

What about IT? What we do is no less critical to the healing process. Our hands may not touch patients, but they do touch their lives in ways unseen. Arguably, IT is the only segment that touches the entire healthcare continuum.

Uh, no, that would be the custodial staff. I don’t doubt that the CIO and IT people are important, but really — the deepest contact they’ll have with patient is when they reach into the poor sick person’s wallet to grab the doctor’s fee. (Point take from the comments: the IT staff do far more than billing, and are important throughout the healthcare process. But don’t forget the custodians!)

Anyway, the crux of the CIO’s blog post is that he saw some surgeons getting their hands blessed (yikes, useless and disturbing — I hope none of my doctors relied on their lucky rabbit’s foot to do their job), so he wanted it done for the IT people, too.

I contacted our chaplains, and they were excited about the concept. For the first time this spring, we conducted a Blessing of the Hands ceremony exclusively for IT. The chaplains first shared with our team the sanctity of what we do in serving people and the impact we have on the lives of both patients and caregivers. They prayed over us. They prayed a blessing over a special vial of oil then used it to anoint our hands.

Gah. Magic grease slathered over their hands — why should I trust this medieval lot to do their jobs correctly? Now I’m wondering how many anointed fruitcakes are wandering the streets right now. But never mind my weird phobias about superstitious professional people with power over my life, look at this: he included a poll. A really bad poll.

Should hospital IT employees be expected to have a higher level of compassion and spiritual beliefs than their counterparts in other industries?

No 47%
Yes 53%

Because, like, all those bee-yatches in insurance IT can be heathenish, godless hatas with no need for that magic jesus jizz on they hands.

Hey, if that guy would start writing like Herbert Kornfeld, his blog might actually be interesting to more than just a narrow slice of specialists.