Aggregator • MaxedOutMama • ID=62188
The push is on to get doctors to use electronic medical systems (current catchy acronym is EHR), and no doubt realizing that it is Lent, and that my soul needed penance, SuperDoc asked me to help him out with his transition.
After much research, which I am now writing up, I must sorrowfully return tomorrow to discuss the very penitential situation with him. The Chief had suggested that I not spoil SuperDoc's weekend by giving him the bad news on Saturday, since the weather had turned.
ARRA (stimulus bill last year) mandated stuff to do with electronic health records. The theory is that doctors and hospitals will get payments based on meaningful use of EHRs meeting the standard. It all sounds so wonderful, as in this industry coverage of a speech:
Dr. David Blumenthal introduced himself to the IT community yesterday in a talk in which he told the story of his first experiences using health IT and shared his convictions about its future.It was at that point that I cracked and started hurling epithets at the screen. There is nothing patienty-North Star-ish about what is going on, and in fact, one of the main problems is that the regs governing this "complicated", "difficult", "diverse" "unprecedented ambition" which is also an "experiment" have not in fact been written yet.
Speaking to a crowd of thousands for a keynote address at the Health Information and Management Systems Society annual conference, he had the tone of a gracious outsider in the IT community.
'As long we keep the patient as our North Star we will not go astray,' he said.
In giving the history of this first 10 months in the job, Blumenthal reminded the crowd they were involved an experiment that had no equal in the history of healthcare, 'or any other industry,' he said.
'It's a huge and unprecedented ambition,' he said. 'No one in the history of healthcare has tried to do something as complicated and difficult and in such a large diverse country with the kind of independence of spirit and professional autonomy that we have."
Of the 'meaningful use' plan, he was as positive: 'This is the first time I believe anyone has laid out in black and white what it should expect of a modern electronic health care system.'
Any of you who have been involved with this sort of thing realize that conforming to a standard which has not yet been explicated is extraordinarily difficult and promises to be extraordinarily expensive. After a lot of time and money, failure is almost guaranteed. That is why anyone who has a successful track record in IT flees from such projects as if harpies were devouring their entrails. Those of you who have no background in such matters and wish an independent opinion might do well to ask Snarky Mark, who does have this background, and can think.
This experiment is all the more worrisome because no one has worried about the inherent RISKS of these systems. But they exist. Anybody who gave this half a thought would realize that a hasty adoption of such systems would magnify those risks. But that is our plan.
Word has it that Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" was heavily consulted by those who have been hired by the government to write the regulations and, well, just supervise and makes speeches in a leisurely fashion while collecting healthy and satisfying salaries with excellent health benefits. Dr. David Blumenthal was hired as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology by President Obama. Bio.He has all the qualifications - including a complete lack of understanding of actual IT, costs, etc. In short, no idea of what is achievable, and the glorious academically accumulated indifference to believe that practical limitations don't matter.
I will later post some of what I am writing up for SuperDoc. I can embed the links and it will be a useful resource later for me, since I am probably going to be spending many gloomy hours hanging out at the health regulatory websites over the next few months.