A Few Minutes With Joel Diamond
Can you believe that Andy Rooney still appears on 60 Minutes? You know who he is — the curmudgeonly commentator who closes the Sunday broadcast with supposed homespun and witty observations.
Unfortunately, I often think of them as the bizarre rants of a crazy old reporter with cognitive dysfunction. For those of you who have never seen him, it goes something like this:
- Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.
- The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
I never found this to be particularly insightful or funny. In fact, I’m always waiting for him to say something like:
- Did you ever wonder where the phrase ‘too big for your britches’ comes from? It generally refers to men with very large testicles.
- Did you ever wonder what color Papa Smurf changes to when you choke him?
- Why am I wearing Depends brand adult diapers right now? I suppose it ‘depends’ if I am incontinent of urine or feces.
Here’s what I think it would be like if HIStalk closed with some quaint Andy Rooney observations.
- Why do HIT venders always think it’s cute to demo their products with silly made-up names like Dr. Billy Rubin, or Vi Agra? I always found this distracting. If you insist on doing this, please go all the way — have a patient named Mia Butreeks being taken care of by Dr. Wilma Fingerdu.
- Am I the only grown-up who still giggles every time he hears someone mention the company Siemens?
- Why do EMRs have an hourglass to remind us of how slow they are going? An hourglass?! They should be consistent with the antiquities theme by showing an animated apothecary compounding drugs while looking up formulary data, or leeches sucking blood while searching for a CPT code.
- I swear I didn’t make this up. The Episcopal Sisters of Charity’s Web site said that they were looking for used Siemens units.
- Why didn’t anyone notice that the acronym for the National Coordinator’s office is the widely used medical prefix for malignant cancer? As in ONCology. This can’t be good.
- If the Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) and patient identity issue so hard to get right, why could Navy SEALs do it with so quickly with Osama bin Laden … while getting shot at!
- Are they running out of pharmaceutical names? There’s a new cholesterol drug called Livalo. That just sounds wrong. I suppose it’s not as bad as the stomach med, Aciphex (it’s seriously pronounced ‘ass effects.’)
- Speaking of drug names, shouldn’t they all just give us a hint at what they do? Anusol for hemorrhoids is a great example.
- CIO can also stand for Chief Investment Officer, and CMO can also be Chief Marketing Officer. In texting they, mean ‘Check It Out’ and ‘Count Me Out,’ respectively. Some of you may find this very insightful. I have actually have no idea if this is relevant to anything.
- I never really liked the term COWS for Computers on Wheels. The imagery is disturbing for some reason. I suppose it’s better that Computers on Carts, though.
- Is it possible that Andy Rooney suffers from Typus Degenerativus Amstelodamensis? This is a condition characterized by bushy eyebrows, low-set ears, a webbed neck, and a low-pitched cry. Think about it
Joel Diamond, MD is chief medical officer at dbMotion, adjunct associate professor at the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and a practicing physician at UPMC and of the Handelsman Family Practice in Pittsburgh, PA. He also blogs on interoperability.