Theory and malpractice

snake-oil-bottle-cropped-label

When the technocracy feels compelled to deliver urgent care on a grandiose scale, the outcome is pretty much foreordained:

The conversion to electronic health records has failed so far to produce the hoped-for savings in health care costs and has had mixed results, at best, in improving efficiency and patient care, according to a new analysis by the influential RAND Corporation.

Optimistic predictions by RAND in 2005 helped drive explosive growth in the electronic records industry and encouraged the federal government to give billions of dollars in financial incentives to hospitals and doctors that put the systems in place. …

RAND’s 2005 report was paid for by a group of companies, including General Electric and Cerner Corporation, that have profited by developing and selling electronic records systems to hospitals and physician practices. Cerner’s revenue has nearly tripled since the report was released, to a projected $3 billion in 2013, from $1 billion in 2005.

I believe that’s what’s called a money-extraction surgery. Sounds like it was a great success.

Next patient: education.

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2 Responses to Theory and malpractice

  1. The big problem with medical records in the USA is the lack of historical archiving and the fragmentation between different providers. As such, few people who have moved home or job (and hence insurance provider) have anything like a useful historical record available. Thus new illnesses and treatments can never be seen in the light of the that person’s previous illness and treatment.

    Now technology can help with this, but at heart it’s not a technology problem – the fragmentation comes directly out of the fragmentation of the care process. Hence, the strategy of spending money on technology with addressing the fragmentation of care has led to failure.

  2. grizzlymarmot

    The computerization of medical records is another case study for your book – “Does IT Matter?” Some people are making a killing, other early adopters are getting severely burned. The end result, records in electronic form, is inevitable. I don’t know if medical care will improve – but I do know that you will interact with healthcare providers much differently when it happens.