‘Isabel’ as a verb?

Will “Isabel” become a verb, much in the way “Google” has? A Fox News story from December on Isabel Healthcare, developer of a diagnostic decision support engine, suggested that it already has. The correspondent, Dr. Christine Dumas, says that clinicians in some hospitals routinely ask, “Did you Isabel this?”

Unfortunately, the 2-minute piece does not include an interview with anyone at Isabel, nor does it mention any other clinical decision support companies. (Insert “fair and balanced” joke here.) I’ll be speaking with the company at HIMSS in a couple of weeks.

A much more in-depth piece of TV reportage on healthcare quality comes from none other than Katie Couric. The CBS Evening News anchor interviewed safety guru Dr. Don Berwick in a report that aired last week. The link takes you to a print version of the story, but you’ll see the video player on the right-hand side of the screen. In the “Eye to Eye” segment, an online exclusive that follows the main story, Berwick talks about the need for computers and automation.

I talked to Berwick at his Institute for Healthcare Improvement‘s annual conference in December, shortly after Dr. Larry Weed’s stirring address, and Berwick said that the technology finally has gotten good enough for physicians to start taking seriously Weed’s call for electronic medical records and various forms of CDS. Weed, of course, has been advocating the need for computers in medicine since before I was born. I’m closing in on 37 now.