It is hard to outrun paperwork.
Even though the promise of a great E-scape has been around for so long that the original pronouncement has become an eerie technology-enhanced echo.
Even before we arrive at the paper forms that are the bureaucrat's delight, there is in our mind's eye a personal idealised version.
This is in turn a product of the professional training and experience to which we are subjected. The quality of this personal idealised version is also affected by individual traits (aptitude and attitude) that are further shaped by the situation and the unique individual(s) who becomes the focus of our undivided attention.
This personal form, its gestation and sustenance is important because it affects the other forms:
- paper forms - policy, legacy (we've always done it this way);
- theoretical (academic-the idealised standard) form(s);
- electronic forms:
- the computer based record
- scanned - archived forms (electronic document management systems)
- and other variations (e-mails)
Very frequently we need to listen. No. I mean really listen. Not just to one person, but two and more people verbally (with yet others non-verbally). People like to play tennis and when they start slugging it out they often seek a referee. There you are, having to 'write' things down, but you are still learning the(ir) rules. And anyway, writing things down on paper or e-form is a distraction for all. This IS NOT a problem (the problem's the grunting you can hear in the background). It is just a natural interface. As with any communication hand-over or transition point we need to take care, to be safe, efficient and effective.
Another personal form has of course arrived in the very humanoid (person-centred!) shape of self-assessment and the personal health record. There are new challenges in how these hybrid, composite record forms are defined, interoperate, cooperate, and how they will be governed and are seen to accrue measurable (holistic) benefits.
If these different forms prove seamless in use and achieve transparency, well that is quite a trick. If alternately the forms are opaque then the misfit will quickly become apparent. So, have you got the forms? Or is that just the way you walk?