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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Kelly on IT

The recent posting on information technology, titled What is the Problem? stimulated the following response from fellow alum and now healthcare consultant John Kelly:
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The blog on IT, in general, I agree with. Yet, I think even when we get beyond the issue of viewing IT as a force to be reckoned with rather than a tool to improve operations, we still face the enormity of the challenge of converting IT applications into actual improvements. In my last five years at GL [Gunderson Lutheran in LaCrosse, WI] we did have alignment around the goal of IT. In my short tenure in Wausau, all three health systems appear (from my view) to have agreement on ‘what’ we’re trying to solve….yet (this is the point), getting the operational improvements proves tremendously costly (time and money) and very elusive. The micro economics of computer technology, almost always makes the task at hand more time consuming (in the moment it is executed). Takes longer to: a) schedule a patient using computer, b) fill a Rx, c) enter a note, etc….it is only in the macro economics that computing technology seems to have value added….hence our micro economic incentives have not yet gotten aligned with our macro economic goals.

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