By now pretty much everyone that is a practicing physician, or has seen the doctor lately, has figured out that doctors in the new era of electronic health records and meaningful use are spending way too much time in the computer (physically and mentally) and not enough time diagnosing and treating patients.
Health care is the ONLY industry on earth that has gone into mass adoption of technology that LOWERS productivity. Nothing wrong with properly digitized health information, but the technology given to doctors is a scandal. And anyone with more than a few years in I.T., or who uses email, knows that manual input of information by humans into computers is extremely error prone (garbage in - garbage out).
It does NOT have to be this way. The solution is a clinical documentation capture and retrieval system that does not use computers as we think of them (i.e. mouses, keyboards, drop down navigation menus, e-forms proliferation, MS-WIndows, login-logout, fixed monitors, etc.).
I am proposing an X Prize for the first inventor that can demonstrate an ER department management system that does not use computers. Additional criteria for the system include:
1) Productivity is restored to pre-EHR times;
2) Capturing of clinical information is more complete, more relevant, more accurate;
3) Access to clinical information is more complete, more relevant, and more accurate;
4) No mouse, no drop down menu workflows, no need to hunt and peck for patient info;
5) Exhibits human-like situational awareness;
6) Costs less than current fully loaded EHRs; and
7) Is compliant with all regulations - even the stupid ones.
Of course, if we can get this technology to work in the ER we could apply it to primary care and other settings.
Rob Tholemeier is a 30 year veteran of IT and Wall Street with a passion for using technology to improve the way the world works. You can find Rob on LinkedIn.
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