THCB, an otherwise fine, informative (if a bit tech-antiquated) site I peruse every day, tolerates anonymous/untraceable screen names for commenting, no registration required. "Crassholery" is one chronic result. This is a new low, even for the resident trolls.
Lots of substance to attend to this week. I've been offline, observing the Epic EHR from the PoV of a pt on an ER gurney and a private room on a MedSurg floor.
Bob Wachter's new book is out. I have it. Stay tuned.
"While modern medicine produces miracles, it also delivers care that is too often unsafe, unreliable, unsatisfying, and impossibly expensive. For the past few decades, technology has been touted as the cure for all of healthcare’s ills.__
But medicine stubbornly resisted computerization – until now. Over the past five years, thanks largely to billions of dollars in federal incentives, healthcare has finally gone digital.
Yet once clinicians started using computers to actually deliver care, it dawned on them that something was deeply wrong. Why were doctors no longer making eye contact with their patients? How could one of America’s leading hospitals give a teenager a 39-fold overdose of a common antibiotic, despite a state-of-the-art computerized prescribing system? How could a recruiting ad for physicians tout the absence of an electronic medical record as a major selling point?
Logically enough, we’ve pinned the problems on clunky software, flawed implementations, absurd regulations, and bad karma. It was all of those things, but it was also something far more complicated. And far more interesting . . .
Written with a rare combination of compelling stories and hard-hitting analysis by one of the nation’s most thoughtful physicians, The Digital Doctor examines healthcare at the dawn of its computer age. It tackles the hard questions, from how technology is changing care at the bedside to whether government intervention has been useful or destructive. And it does so with clarity, insight, humor, and compassion. Ultimately, it is a hopeful story.
"We need to recognize that computers in healthcare don’t simply replace my doctor’s scrawl with Helvetica 12," writes the author Dr. Robert Wachter. "Instead, they transform the work, the people who do it, and their relationships with each other and with patients. . . . Sure, we should have thought of this sooner. But it’s not too late to get it right."
This riveting book offers the prescription for getting it right, making it essential reading for everyone – patient and provider alike – who cares about our healthcare system."
EPIC EMERGES FROM SHADOWS IN LIGHT OF DOD EHR CONTRACT: Today, we take a deep dive into Epic, which many avid eHealth readers are familiar with, but some may be just be learning about as the massive EHR company gets closer to the DoD’s EHR contract: “One of the front-runners for a multi-billion-dollar contract to redesign the Pentagon’s vast medical record system is Epic Systems, a privately held, fiercely independent firm that, in the view of many health IT experts, epitomizes the best and the worst of the effort to transform America’s health information systems. Competitors and some health care providers claim that Epic and its big-hospital customers pressure smaller practices to join Epic and the networks it serves by charging them large fees for sharing patient information if they don’t. But inside the Epic network, however, the information sharing is smooth compared to that of many EHR makers. If it wins the Defense contract, estimated at $11 billion and expected to be awarded in June, Epic will be poised to further extend its power in the industry. Already, the company holds the records of half the patients in the U.S. and the contract could enable Epic to set the terms for national issues such as the sharing of electronic health care records …
Epic’s privacy, exclusivity, and the lavish annual conference and parties it hosts for doctors and IT specialists — flaunting its accumulation of federally subsidized wealth — breed resentment. The Defense contract would have Epic completely overhaul its current EHR system, replacing it with a customized version of the Epic system. “We’re not your usual EHR customer. We’re not a normal hospital system. We work in very interesting places; hospitals and clinics worldwide. On airplanes, in ships and in tents. These are nuances that you need to pay attention to,” said Dr. Karen Guice, DOD’s deputy assistant for health affairs, last summer.” So who is Epic — and are the rumors that the company is not interoperable true? We chat with folks from Epic and other experts in the field about how they measure up to the competition. Turns out they’re not all so different. Read more here: http://politico.pro/1CaddG9__