Which is correct?
It will still be years before electronic health records replace the ________ paper-based system.
Archaic means so outdated as to appear to belong to an earlier era in history, which works perfectly to describe a paper-based system in medical records while the rest of the world goes digital.
Arcane, on the other hand, describes obscure and/or mysterious knowledge that is only available to a select few, such as those initiated into a secret society.
I like Merriam-Webster’s example: grammatical rules that seem arcane to generations of students who were never taught grammar in the first place.
This post was inspired by an article in the Globe and Mail that quoted Telus CEO Darren Entwistle calling the Canadian medical records system “arcane.”
Learn more about the current status of Health IT.
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