We are pleased to welcome Dr. Marc Ringel as he discusses his new book, Digital Healing: People, Information, Healthcare, with special guest Dr. Cory Franklin.
Medical practice and research are inconceivable today without electronic computing and communication tools. Digital machines do many tasks orders-of-magnitude better, faster and more accurately than humans. Still, there are functions critical to the healthcare endeavor that people do much better than machines, things like: understanding and using natural language; perceiving what is unexpressed; taking into account values, culture, ethics, and human relationships; touching and healing. For the foreseeable future, the "smartest" computers will be no match for human beings when it comes to performing these most anthropic functions.
American healthcare is at a critical juncture. Providers and patients are increasingly frustrated by degradation of the human relationships that lie at the core of the medical practice. Technologies, such as the computerized medical record, get much of the blame for intrusion into the patient-provider relationship. However, it is not technology itself that is to blame. The fault lies with how systems are conceived, designed, and deployed. Dr. Marc Ringel's new book analyzes how to organize the work of healthcare in a way that uses machines to do what they do best, thereby freeing humans to do what we do best. Smart use of electronic technology is crucial to the success of any bid to to make healthcare more effective, efficient, and humane.
Dr. Marc Ringel earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Tulane University. As a philosophy major he became especially interested in the history of science and in the "mind-body problem," issues that he has continued to examine throughout his career, from the point of view of a practicing physician and teacher. After driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus for the summer, he enrolled in the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine. Then he did a rotating internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Ringel became a board-certified family physician in 1979. He earned a Certificate of Special Qualification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2012.
For most of his career Dr. Ringel has written, spoken and consulted on issues related to medical informatics and telemedicine. Marc has extensive practice experience, including: two years in Yuma; five years in his own family practice in Ripon, Wisconsin; nine years as a faculty member of North Colorado Family Medicine Residency Training Program in Greeley; fifteen years at Brush (Colorado) Family Medicine. Most recently he served for three years as medical director of TRU Hospice of Northern Colorado.
Dr. Ringel has served on the governing boards of Centennial Area Health Education Center, Colorado Health-OP (cooperative health insurance company), the Partnership of Academics and Communities for Translation of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and on community advisory boards for High Plains Research Network and the University of Northern Colorado School of Nursing.
Marc has lived in Greeley, CO since 1985. His hobbies include cycling, hiking, reading, gardening, photography, writing and listening to jazz.
Cory Franklin, MD, is an editorial board contributor to the Chicago Tribune and the author of Chicago Flashbulbs, Cook County ICU, and The Doctor Will See You Now: Essays on the Changing Practice of Medicine. His work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times, the New York Post, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Medical practice and research are inconceivable today without electronic computing and communication tools. Digital machines do many tasks orders-of-magnitude better, faster and more accurately than humans.