Many health care reformers and politicians, including our President-elect, peddle the idea that government-sponsored dispersion of health care technology will cure much of what ails our medical delivery system.
The health care information technology (IT) industry is a close analog of the auto industry circa the 1970s. A few large players who build big, expensive systems on outdated technology platforms dominate the industry.
And what will happen if billions of taxpayer dollars are spent promoting the software produced by these few large payers? Well, it will exacerbate many of the problems that beset our health care system:
Currently available EHRs from the major, CCHIT certified vendors will not save us money. Any assumptions about improvements in quality or patient safety will be offset by an across the board loss of clinical efficiency, a loss of productivity and a counterintuitive increase in the number of personnel, and increased clinical and administrative errors due to system and user interface complexity.
Peters is absolutely right. HIT is ridiculously stuck in the past. He goes on to suggest a variety of sensible steps that would improve this situation, including getting on board with the open source movement.
Go read the rest of his post. It’s worth the time if you want a mordant reality check concerning the state of the HIT art.