1st Aug 2016 mnasin

IT competences – “Please, in Catalan @ (arroba) is with b or v?”

It’s not a joke but it may look like. If you had gone through something similar, you wouldn’t be laughing.

Imagine this situation: one professional at our organization (BSA) was doing the recruitment for the CCBT program (Get over your depression). He had little time to do so and was completely overloaded by tons of work. He was filling the recruitment form in order to enrol the patient into the intervention program so he was asking for some data. The conversation went as follows:



Doctor (D): What is your email?

The patient didn’t understand what the doctor said and answered:

Patient (P): my name is “Peter”.

His doctor answered him:

D: Ok Peter, but I’m asking for your email like Peter@gmail.com or hotmail.com or… A minute ago, you said that you have an email…

P: Sorry doctor, what have you said? Arroba (@)? What’s that? It is with “b” or with “v”?

The doctor was completely surprised because before filling the recruitment form, he thought the patient was fulfilling all the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The doctor had to explain the patient what an email is which clearly showed the lack of IT competences for him to be enrolled into the online treatment.

That was an example of a patient who, at the end, was not recruited but, in some other situations, our professionals recruit patients who theoretically have IT competences. Later on, we discover they don’t.

In those latest cases, we have a lot of technical incidents and it’s a problem because it has some consequences like:

1-    Extra incidents means extra effort for our professionals who are already overloaded by plenty of other tasks for them to waste their time solving “technical problems” which in reality are lack of IT competences from the user.

2-    Extra dropouts from then treatment because they are not able to follow it.

What do you think? Have you got any “fun” situation like this?


Maria Navarro Asin, Badalona Serveis Assistencials (BSA). I’m a journalist; I work as an innovation technician in BSA. I love the photography and the social media. If you want to know more, you can find me in different social media… Look for me at: @mnasin, or @rdiBSA or www.linkedin.com/in/marianavarroasin

2 responses to “IT competences – “Please, in Catalan @ (arroba) is with b or v?””

  1. Erlend Bønes says:

    Our experience with treatment over video conference in Norway is that patients have very different attitudes to technology. Some patients are not comfortable with video conference sessions, and prefer face-to-face.

    Other patients have experience using Skype or similar technologies, and prefer to get their treatment at home, so they do not have to travel long distances. Maybe they even feel safer when getting the treatment in their own homes?

  2. Maria Navarro says:

    Exactly. From our point of view, it depends on the users because it’s true that patients have very different attitudes to technology and the competences are also different. The age, the previous experience, the support at home, how their professional recommend the treatment or service are points to take into account.

    In the case of our cCBT program, our users appreciate that they can follow the program at home, but some of them need more support from their professionals and prefer face-to-face contact. For this reason, the study and the results of the pilot are very important for us.

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