Saturday, June 23, 2012

Healthcare IT 

The Healthcare IT boondoggle continues alive and well. 

On a recent visit to one of my medical specialists, I noted a sign asking me to have my insurance cards ready for reading into a new computer application.

The doctor and I have a friendly relationship so when he came into the examining room I mentioned the new application and, as I like to do in such cases, asked him what problem it was intended to solve. 

His immediate answer was “to satisfy the government.”  The small specialty group practice to which he belongs is now being penalized 1% by Medicare for not being computerized and the penalty rate is expected to go up.

He then, with some apparent emotion, said that the application cost a lot of money (though Medicare is reimbursing $40,000 of it), will make his practice less efficient, and affects patient care negatively in that the new method of communicating with other physicians is less flexible than the one it replaces. 

He mentioned that while one stated intent of computerizing medical records was to allow the sharing of medical information among providers, his new application was able to communicate with almost nobody.  Even other nearby providers using the same system could not communicate if it was a different version or if it had been modified, as many of them had. 

We agreed that the effort to automate medical records was like going from bicycles to space travel without bothering with cars and airplanes.  

And the amount of money being spent is prodigious.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

FREE counter and Web statistics from sitetracker.com