From Kevin Williamson:
Some years ago I had a medical procedure that required visiting a few different doctors, and, dysgraphic as I am, I was intensely annoyed by the fact that at every doctor’s office, I was given pencil and paper to fill out what was essentially the same questionnaire, over and over. There being nothing much more pressing at issue than whether I am allergic to penicillin or had been feeling dizzy lately, this seemed to me like the sort of thing that ought to be done electronically and shared among practices. I pointed out to one not-at-all-interested physician that when I received bills, they were produced electronically rather than with pencil and paper.
“What’s your point?” he asked. “
The point is that when it comes to my interests — the timely and efficient transmission of my medical records — you are content to use 17th-century technology, the first mass-produced pencil having been developed in Nuremberg in 1662. When it comes to your interests — getting paid — you use 21st-century technology. It strikes me as odd that we have a very sophisticated electronic system for monitoring credit scores but no such thing for medical data.”
You can tell a great deal from data itself, but also from how data is gathered
This excerpt is from a longer political opinion article. I quoted it for two reasons:
- I have had the same experience. I even had to fill out new forms as I moved from one section of the hospital to the next. Forms asking for the exact same information as the form I just filled out 30 minutes before. For some reason radiology could not communicate with the surgery and neither could communicate with the front desk.
- Kevin presents a new idea I had not thought of before. Physicians and hospitals use technology if it makes their jobs easier but if it is the patient who is inconvenienced… who cares.
As an aside. Physicians are generally unhappy with mandated electronic health records. One of the primary reasons is that these mandated EHRs were designed not for the convenience of the patients or the physicians they were designed for the convenience of technocrats and special interests.