Who is benefitting?
The complaint that introduction of incentives around this legislation has benefitted the vendors of EMR solutions rather than the medical community and healthcare users as a whole is best summed up by a quote in the article from Jonathan Bush, co-founder of the cloud-based firm Athenahealth, who states, "The biggest players drew this incredible huddle around the rule-makers and the rules are ridiculously favorable to these companies and ridiculously unfavorable to society". However, this rush to take financial advantage of new legislation can be seen in almost any industry, whether the legislation is lobbied for those who directly gain or not. The fact remains that the future of EMRs is bright with the potential for medical improvement.
But, the path to Big Data analytics for most healthcare providers will be difficult. Most providers have a hodgepodge of siloed systems and databases that don’t have good points of integration. Moreover, typically there is no common understanding of the data under management and thus it’s difficult to determine the analytical models, even in the abstract.
So, while the outcomes might not be great so far, this lack of progression can't necessarily be tied to one piece of the puzzle. The potential is still there in big data and EMR to create a better medical future.
Outcomes so far
That's not to say that the medical world is yet to see any benefits from EMRs and the overall data-driven approach. Here are three examples of benefits that could be seen the world over.
EMRs also offer greater accessibility to documents. Got a lot of patient documents to store and recall? That makes this a big data issue. According to Tom Poulter, head of Information Management and Technology at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, the Wirrel, Merseyside, in an InformationWeek article on the
digitization of medical records: "The main benefit we see coming out of digitization is accessibility," he said. "We want information to be easier to access and share by our clinicians for the benefit of our patients".
The ability to combine different data sets, including those found in EMRs, will continue to produce medical benefits, as Kurt Roots pointed out in The 'Healthy' Reasons to Combine Disparate Data Sets on Big Data Republic: "As the privacy frontier continues to recede, particularly in the US, policy will give way to practice allowing these emerging technologies to deliver "healthy" reasons to combine and analyze disparate data sets."
Do you see the benefits?
Do the benefits stand up to the huge profits organizations are making from this lobby for legislation? Or are EMRs too slow to produce tangible results considering the financial incentives behind them? Comments welcome below.
"strangely enough you hear a lot about these cases when they happen but you never get to hear the outcome!"
Yes, true. It seems like no one is interested in covering a follow-up of those case. Or maybe if the case is settled with a massive compensation, as you say, it's better not to let the public know who got rich recently.
Re: Too much profit? @susani agree with everything you say. If you want a GP to spend more than their allotted 7 minutes with you it is a case of being well prepared and persistent with them. I have even known them look stuff up on the internet while you are sitting in front of them! It is all about league tables and waiting times now.
The personal touch seems to have gone. We'll have to facetime them next!
Re: Too much profit? @susan strangely enough you hear a lot about these cases when they happen but you never get to hear the outcome! I guess some people should get a massive compensation payment and others lose their jobs. But it doesn't always happen that way.
It's also that the society is becoming too superfluous. Almost no one really listens, or are interested in something for longer than a lab rat's span life.
Then you have doctors, who are more interested in despaching you fast, than in what really brought you to their office in the first place.
Then you have the ones who have no clue what the cause of the symptoms is, and either they guess, or tell you to wait for three months, and come back if the symptoms continue.
I am happy to be a healthy person, and I honestly, I have gotten better results researching the Internet, and then finding some natural medicine for simple things than wasting my time to listen to stupid diagnosis that seem to be parroted without too much thought. Pathetic.
And this is supposed to be a place where healthcare is great. I know things have changed a lot here in matters of healthcare. Maybe I have only had bad luck. :( Maybe they are only great with serious issues. I don't really know. I am too disappointed, and I would prefer to have an AI doctor.
What happened to those people whose wrong kidney was removed, and wrong limb amputed? I don't think there is law suit, or money that can fix that. What happened to them? I am almost speechless. I only have questions about those cases. :/
Re: Too much profit? I don't know about the US but here in UK we have had people have the wrong kidney removed because data git muddled up. I believe there was a case a few years ago when someone had the wrong limb amputated!
Re: Too much profit? How's this for controversial....
Deep down, the doctors are pleased to only have a short time with us?
We live in such a litigious society that it is safer to agree with the diagnosis we gleaned from the www rather than propose something else, on the basis we will sue them if they get it wrong!
"This all presupposes their is no-one else with the same name and dob!"
That's scary. The worst is that it can happen if the doctor doesn't really know you, and we know that's possible.
Too little time is assigned per patient, a quick look at your EMR, a glance at the clock on the wall, a quick way out of whatever condition took you there in the first place, and most likely next visit you will see someone else, and repeat the circle.
Once, elsewhere, I said that I truly would prefer to have an AI doctor. At least with a robot you would be sure that you are prescribed with the right thing, and not with something so old and so packed with side-effects that could kill you, as it happened to me last year.
This has become so impersonal and cold that trust in doctors is being compromised.
Re: Too much profit? @susan our system is at breaking point so much so that doctors have only a few minutes to spare with you in their surgery. By the time you have explained what you are suffering from then they only gave a very shirt time.
They do not know you beyond the set of notes sitting on their desk. This all presupposes their is no-one else with the same name and dob!