Healthcare IT Failure and The Arrogance of the IT Industry #HCRIT #HIT #EMR

Until the arrogance of the IT industry is recognized and countered – even if it comes, in a quasi-comical suggestion, to the doctors arming themselves with scalpels and cutting every network cable in sight – and it is recognized that experiments conducted under false assumptions are doomed to fail – our approaches to health IT, per the National Research Council, will remain insufficent [10].

The latter organization recommended that health IT success will depend upon accelerating interdisciplinary research in biomedical informatics, computer science, social science, and health care engineering.

This research will be a long time in coming if we as a society are still at the level of arguing about whether “health IT is harder than it looks” and about the unproven and arrogant assertion, made with a straight face by process re-engineering analysts and consultants seeing money to be made, that the computer will achieve miracles only when we “change medical processes” [i.e., adjust medicine, the occupee, for the convenience of medicine’s occupiers, the IT industry].

*In reality, handwriting issues aside, there is little wrong with “the old medical chart” from an information science perspective. It evolved over a century or longer to serve the needs of its users. It is a simple document in terms of organization, containing sometimes complex information but in an easy to find form (when maintained by humans properly) and in a presentation style that recognizes human cognitive limitations in very busy, complex social environments such as patient care settings*

What would an EMR from Google or Apple look like?!?!? I doubt we’ll ever know… but imagine the simplicity, elegance and connectivity.


About hjluks

A busy Academic Orthopedic Surgeon, Digital Strategist, Chief Medical Officer and father... intently and efficiently navigating the intersection of Social Media and Health Care.
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6 Responses to Healthcare IT Failure and The Arrogance of the IT Industry #HCRIT #HIT #EMR

  1. Natalie Hodge MD says:

    Howard, here is where the market will sort itself out. Clunky, yet still expensive old delphi players from 10 years ago, and poorly usable software with traditional licensing models will be replaced by emerging SAAS, .net, ,c++ and java players with new revenue models, ecommerce and direct medical practice for physicians will flourish, as the staffing, expense, work involved with third party payor reimbursement accelerates physicians will continue dropping out of those networks, and the 17% of doc’s already not accepting medicare will increase, perhaps drastically come 2010. Natalie Hodge MD FAAP Co-Founder Personal Medicine

  2. onthehudson says:

    As an former TV news producer who took over IT for NBC News globally, I can’t emphasize strongly enough the how the arrogance, laziness, and incompetence of my IT brethren worked to the detriment of my user base, their broadcasts and their workflow. It was always an uphill battle. What worked for us was the most-IT-angry user (me) got to call the shots of over those who have mastered the 0’s and 1’s (at best), but did not value the humans nor what the humans were trying to accomplish.That’s not to say that process-mapping and streamlining shouldn’t be done, it should, nor that there won’t be resistance by people when it’s their job that is being “streamlined,” but still, the people leading this charge should be masters of what needs to be accomplished, not masters of the technology.The mindset of the people running the show should be: things were done for a reason. What is that reason and is it still valid. If so, embrace the reason, but allow experts to question the method. If true efficiencies can be found, great–go test them. Otherwise, look elsewhere to apply technology.All the stakeholders must be at the table and have their say, but it’s those most-angry-users who “own” the knowledge of what the outcomes needs to be and why, who should run the show.

  3. Howard Luks says:

    Hey Mike !!! Welcome to my tiny little space…. great to have you here. I remember your stories well. Your comments are dead on and applicable not only to the HIT space, but IT in general. Thanks for stopping by… love to see you soon.

  4. Leonard Kish says:

    I think we will know shortly, and I don’t think it will necessarily come from Google or Apple, it will come from an EHR company (current or new) that gets it. I think it will be optimized for the tablet. Just look at what sports illustrated ( is doing with a formerly paper-based medium. Imagine a patient record with the same sort of interface. Shameless plug: If any vendors (current or up and coming) want to build something like this, I want to help you get it built.

  5. Howard Luks says:

    Len, Never thought that Google, nor Apple would dare enter the EMR marketplace 😦 It is far more a wish than perception of eventual reality. I hope someone takes you up on your offer !!! I will be more than happy to help out too !!

  6. Leonard Kish says:

    Thanks, Howard. Hoping the tablet will open the door to some great software designs for EHRs and other mobile-friendly environments. Vendors will need to be web-enabled for this to work best. Great application-focused user experience design companies can help.

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