Finally, we’re past the summing up of the problems in current health-care record systems. It was long, depressing, and admittedly quite boring at times, but oh so necessary. I hope you’re all in a suitably despaired state of mind to crave some solutions to all this misery, but first let’s see what we endured.
I published 11 (!) blog posts on problems with current systems and I think I actually succeeded in presenting 11 different and independent problems, all of them highly significant, and all of them with a large impact on the quality of the health-care we provide. This last remark is highly significant: we cannot do good medicine with systems having problems like this. We don’t diagnose as well as we could, we don’t institute optimal treatments as often as we could, and people suffer needlessly due to these problems. Also, any savings we achieve in IT departments due to these miserable systems, is burned many times over in increased costs due to suboptimal health-care caused by them.
The blog posts are derived from my “master list” of problems in current systems that you can find on the iota blog. Use that list if you want to look up problems or solutions, since the very nature of a wiki implies that those pages may change and be brought up to date as time goes by and we all increase our understanding of the subject. The blog posts, however, just like fine summer weather, are but a memory.
It’s high time to do something less depressing than rehashing all that misery, so from the next post onwards, we’ll talk about solutions and how to get there. The next couple of posts will cover the different parts of the solution to all this. Yes, I think I have a solution to it, amazingly. If you think you have reason to believe that one or more of my solutions won’t work, say so. You may be right, and if you are, I may need to rethink some of the solutions.
Don’t say that “if your idea is so good, why hasn’t it already been done?”, and don’t tell me it can’t be done because “nobody listens”, “bureaucrats have all the power”, “it’s all going to hell anyway”, because it’s not true. I won’t allow it to be true and neither should you. I am personally convinced that if the “bureaucrats” really understood the problems, they would jump on the opportunity to do the right thing. So our problem is to make them listen, even if it takes another couple of hundred blog posts and projects.
Enough of that philosophizing… on to the solutions. The next five posts will be (unless I change my mind about any of them or add more):
- The introduction of “issues”
- The support of a modular structure
- The improvement of quality in specifications and interfaces
- The lessening of dependence on overly heavy standards work
- The opening of the market to smaller entrepreneurs