Much is expected of leaders in the day-to-day operations of their
companies. From motivating team members to overseeing major
strategies, being a leader means that people depend on you for
decisions—big and small.
Crucial as this is to the role, many
managers should be on the lookout for the onset of decision fatigue.
Given that willpower has been shown to be a depletable resource, the
quality of one’s decisions may gradually deteriorate throughout the
day if not managed carefully.
Practitioners in a few
industries may pay a higher price than others if they don’t watch
out. As the day progresses, judges have been shown to be more likely
to deny parole, whereas doctors have been shown to have a higher
chance of prescribing unnecessary antibiotics. Given the
life-changing impact of such decisions, it becomes crucial then that
stakeholders address the problem.
As an individual
decision-maker, it’s wise to outsource insignificant decisions (such
as where to book meetings) to a trusted assistant. However, when
you’re protecting a team of decision-makers—such as your pool of
judges or doctors—bigger measures must be taken.
where systemic approaches come in. To combat decision fatigue on an
organizational level, one must use smart systems that are more
efficient and easily scalable. For today’s purposes, we’ll be
turning to the field of medicine to learn the best ways these
systems have been utilized in action.
Patience with Patients
As of 2015, the Department of
Health has stated that the Philippines has an average shortage of
15,000 doctors a year. With a ratio of one doctor for every 33,000
patients, hospital administrators should caution against the high
odds of decision fatigue within their roster of doctors.
effective way to combat this fatigue systemically is by having data
storage in the cloud. The core concept: it allows users to store and
access data over the internet instead of a single hard drive. In the
medical field, this simple yet powerful idea has yielded several
First on the list is faster response time: since
cloud-based data enables doctors and staff to pull patient
information on the go, this helps them make better, data-driven
decisions in record time—a crucial consideration in medical
emergencies, where every minute counts.
Another benefit is
making complexity more manageable: aside from spurring cohesion by
easily pulling data from multiple sources, cloud computing has also
enabled the massive processing of complex data that individual
doctors could never handle alone.
Take, for example, the case
at the Seattle Children’s Hospital for Dr. Michael Cunningham. As
the medical director of their Craniofacial Center, he was in charge
of finding a solution for young patients with craniosynostosis—and
he had to find it fast.
“The biggest obvious consequence of
having craniosynostosis is that your head shape gets very abnormal
and it increases the pressure inside the skull, with potential to
damage the brain,” Cunningham said.
With the aid of cloud
computing, his partner researchers were able to analyze and sequence
a vast amount of information from the cloud about possible causes
for the disease. As they traced the abnormality down to the way bone
cells communicated, they were able to identify patients whose cells
looked similar—giving the center a solid lead to follow.
start, Dr. Cunningham revealed that this was a breakthrough in
itself: "It's the first thing that's ever been found that
really gives us a clue as to where to look in terms of underlying
cause," he said.
Cloud-based data not only saved them a
considerable amount of money and time, but it had effectively
shortened the decision-making process for the doctor—letting him
focus on finding an effective cure that is actually based on solid
There are many more benefits to cloud computing
technology: easier patient monitoring, efficient tracking of patient
history, and seamless transitioning between doctors. Another benefit
worth highlighting is the preservation of data integrity.
With cloud computing, the centralized nature of data distribution
increases the chances of two things: heightened data security and
reduced human error.
Given the security of data in the cloud,
sensitive patient information can remain private—utilized
specifically only when needed.
Moreover, centralizing this
private data in the cloud enables stakeholders to hold each other
accountable. With clear records of both good and bad decisions
(along with the people who executed them), doctors and staff alike
are ultimately trained to make better decisions, work better as a
team, and strive to improve the overall quality of their data—paving
the way for higher quality treatments in the future for all.
With this in mind, one concrete strategy to follow when executing
cloud computing is by choosing systems that any stakeholder can
operate. After all, in order to make widespread systemic change
likely, the technology behind it should be secure, easily scalable,
and simple enough to learn for all users.
stakeholders need no programming experience: anybody can customize
their own forms, store their own data, and share only the private
information necessary—all in the security of their own cloud.
The Medical Movement
So much can still be done for
Philippine hospitals and the country's medical field in general.
Amidst challenges, solutions providers strive to make fast and
efficient healthcare a reality available to the general
With the future of technology and healthcare going
hand in hand, we have no doubt that this can help pave the way for a
better country: one doctor, one patient, and one decision at a