Fear the Dark (A Bishop/SCU Novel) - Kay Hooper

Robbie looked at the piles of folders on their round table and sighed.  "Who was it that said we'd be a paperless society shortly after computers came along?"


"I don't know," Sarah said, "but he was obviously an idiot.  Even when we do store information on a computer, we always have hard-copy backups.  Always.  Boxes and boxes of files in the basement."


Robbie nodded.  "For the zombie apocalypse.  I'm the same way about my books.  Buy the e-versions for my tablet, but always buy a hardcover or paperback copy as well, for the shelves."


First of all:  This book is taking a bit longer to read than I had anticipated, if only because I've been busy.  However, it is standard Kay Hooper story-telling, and so I can't deny that there is still some draggy moments, but overall, I'm enjoying it so far.


Secondly, a personal side tangent:  The whole "paperless society" comment just made me giggle.  My co-workers and I have had this exact discussion before (except it was a little more extended).  Our hospital is on its own path to become a paperless organization by making everything available on a network.  This whole paperless mission has actually been going on for the past five years (as far as I know) around when I first started working in the lab and the printers were set-up to only print any test results that were abnormal rather than all test results ever run.  Slowly, we started limiting the use of paperwork in other areas of the laboratory and other things as well.


As for the clinical side of things, with the click of a button on a computer or even a tablet or smartphone, doctors and nursing staff are able to view patient test results readily; doctors can create orders no matter where they are just by accessing the hospital's networked programs... or so that's the ideal theory.


I know little about technology, but I understood that this was the higher up's way of trying to "go paperless" and maybe save a buck or two here and there.  It's why we implemented a whole new hospital information system with new features and remote-friendly access for physicians.


Again, in theory, it's a good idea--cheap, easy, convenient... innovative?


Except for the fact that I'm not sure we really are generating less paperwork, because every two to three months, we still send large boxes full of patient test results and order requisitions, instrument print-outs, quality control charts and graphs and statistics... etc., to the salt mines for storage.  However, that whole easy, convenient new information system thing isn't so easy and convenient after all and we find ourselves filing more paperwork when the clinical staff can't figure out how to order a test via their computer program and so opt to send us a paper requisition instead.


I don't know about the rest of the hospital, but I sometimes feels like the lab is still generating huge amounts of paperwork--fortunately, we are also a company trying to "go green" and are recycling everything that is recyclable and shredding anything confidential that we don't really need to keep.


So yeah... the above quote from the book kind of gave me the chuckles.  In fact, now that I think about it, I kind of find it amusing that Kay Hooper has been incorporating modern-day technology and modern-day social culture into her latest books.  I believe there had been a mention of "There's an app for everything!" in one of her Haven sub-trilogy books and I might have chuckled about that too if the guy who was saying it hadn't been our mysterious, evil serial killer.




My final comment:  Robbie is definitely a woman after my own heart.  I kind of sort of have the ideals to do the same thing:  Buy the e-versions of books for the convenience of reading on a phone or table or e-reader with the ability to access them wherever there is internet and a computer, but at the same time buy the hard-copy versions of my more favorite books as well, for the physical shelf.


Because at least if the internet ever crashes, causing world-wide panic and dumping us into one of those standard YA post-apocalyptic situations, I'll still have all of my favorite books in physical form on a shelf.