Sandals, the Middle East and electronic medical records — symbols of partnership

Sandals… what a powerful symbol for today’s blog post.  Apolis Middle East Project is an interesting short film that documents the partnership for business purposes of two groups of workers on each side the Israeli-Palestinian divide.  The product that these sides are working together to bring to market is, simply, sandals.  As in, basic footwear thousands of years old in concept.  The oldest known sandals were found in Fort Rock Cave in Oregon, about 10,000 years old.

On the surface, the short film seems to have a quaint, gee-whiz, aww-shucks, can’t-we-all-just-get-along feel.  However, it reminded me of the partnership between doctors and the software vendor companies that make electronic medical records. One group can’t be successful without the cooperation of the other group.

Doctors need EMR vendors to provide a useful and user-friendly product that will help document the healthcare and decisionmaking of doctors. EMR vendors need doctors to bring life and usefulness to their product. But when the partnership happens, modern healthcare that affects millions of lives for the better is allowed to unfold.

A popular view of electronic medical records by doctors is one of just another thing getting in the way of good healthcare because they take additional time and training to use well. But when you think about it, this partnership is really very important if we want to make the world a better, safer place for us all to live and share.  EMR vendors make it possible for doctors to touch patients lives in a safe and well documented way.  Doctors provide healthcare to all, bringing the impact of EMR vendors to millions of patients every day, including even the EMR vendors themselves.  🙂

About the author

Dr. Michael West

Dr. Michael West

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at

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