In my previous article “What is wrong with current Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) systems?” I surveyed 9 different and independent problems with current EHR IT systems. Each is a highly significant problem, and all of them come with a large impact on the quality of the health-care we provide as physicians.
As physicians, we cannot do good medicine with systems that have problems like this.
We don’t diagnose as well as we could, we don’t implement optimal treatments as often as we could, and people suffer needlessly..
Any savings achieved 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.
The solutions to broken EHR systems are 5-fold:
1. The introduction of “issues”
2. The support of a modular structure
3. The improvement of quality in specifications and interfaces
4. The lessening of dependence on overly heavy standards work
5. The opening of the market to smaller entrepreneurs
Martin Wehlou, CEO
Martin has been a medical doctor and a developer for more than 30 years. He was trained in general and vascular surgery, intensive care, trauma, and general practice. He also holds the CISSP and CSDP certifications. He is the main designer and developer for the iotaMed suite, and is one of the co-founders of the company – see http://mitm.se/
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