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 .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.