Psychiatric Times Vol 14 No 8

Psychiatric Informatics: Exploring Myths and Barriers

August 01, 1997

Myth #1; I don't need computers in my work. Myth # 2: If I wait, things will stabilize and the prices will come down. Myth # 3: I'm too old to begin thinking about computers. Myth # 4: It's easier for men to understand computers than women.

Court Mandates Due Process Before HMO Termination

August 01, 1997

As a result of the decision in Potvin v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, physicians will have due process rights to a notice and a hearing before being terminated from health plan panels. As a result, termination without cause provisions in provider contracts will no longer be enforceable, something doctors nationwide have wanted for a long time.

Assisted Suicide: Just How Far Did the Supreme Court Go

August 01, 1997

In a long-awaited decision that culminated often anguished public debate and agonizing over moral and ethical concerns, the U.S. Supreme Court in June reversed the opinions handed down by the 2nd and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal and held unequivocally that there is no constitutional "right to die." The controversy over physician-assisted suicide will now spread, as each of the 50 states becomes a separate battleground. "Throughout the nation, Americans are engaged in an earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality of physician-assisted suicide," said Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. "Our holding permits this debate to continue, as it should in a democratic society."

Sexual Predator Ruling Raises Ethical, Moral Dilemma

August 01, 1997

In Kansas v. Hendricks, the Supreme Court upheld by a narrow 5-4 margin a Kansas law that permits the civil commitment of individuals who, due to a "mental abnormality" or "personality disorder," are likely to engage in "predatory acts of sexual violence." Justice Clarence Thomas said the Kansas statute "comports with due process requirements and neither runs afoul of double jeopardy principles nor constitutes an exercise in impermissible ex post facto lawmaking."

Physician Fills Niche With Self-Administered Psychotherapy Programs

August 01, 1997

How can the simple act of forgetting become the impetus for a psychiatrist to develop his own series of self-administered psychotherapy computer programs? According to John Greist, M.D., it began when he forgot to ask his patients important information during the interview process. He also became aware that the very way he formed the question would lead to different responses from the patient, depending on the person he was speaking with or their frame of mind.

Defining Your Needs Is a Good Place to Start

August 01, 1997

A colleague recently told me that he is actively treating more than 250 patients at three separate locations. "Do you think I need a computer?" he asked. That is a question many psychiatrists are asking as they see more patients and do an increasing amount of paperwork to maintain the same income they earned with far fewer patients just five years ago.

Coming Soon: The Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Interview

August 01, 1997

Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Interview (CADI) uses the computer to assist, enhance and improve Traditional Diagnostic Interview (TDI). CADI was first presented at the APA's annual meeting in 1996. CADI modifies both data collection and data processing. It occupies a place between the less-than-reliable TDI and the reliable but time-consuming structured interview like the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM (SCID).

Life Support for Confidentiality in the Electronic Database

August 01, 1997

Many of us have heard the horror stories and seen them reported on the national news wire services: publicly known persons or their family members have their medical records published, names of HIV-positive persons are released, clerks are bribed to deliver the names of patients and their diagnoses, physicians are given free software in return for their lists of patients' names and addresses. It is not that these breaches of confidentiality could not and did not take place with hard copy medical records, it is just that they are so much easier to accomplish now, and can be done in great number and from remote locations, anonymously.