NY Times: Rural Doctor Finds Benefits in Electronics. I know all the experts have a thousand reasons why “it’s not that simple,” but I do this stuff all the time in my day job and I don’t know what’s such a big freakin mystery.
Having data online works. Look: that’s how we write this blog, or find airfares, or anything else. Just use a browser.
Here’s how it plays out:
[the doctor says] “I can always look at the records by Internet, whether I am seeing patients at the nursing home or a clinic or the hospital, or even when I’m as far away as Florida. The change has been tremendously beneficial for my productivity.”
Patients are appreciative, too. Kagay Wheatley brings her 97-year-old neighbor, Charlotte Hayes, to Dr. Brull for blood tests every few weeks. “We do not have to sit and wait while the nurses search for the records,” said Ms. Wheatley, a retired school board aide who is also a patient of Dr. Brull’s. “They find the information right there on the computer, and when we leave, we get a printout of what we did and what she said.”
Seriously, if the geniuses running things today can’t figure out how to get this done, the rest of us will just go off and do it on our own. It’s not that difficult.
Sociologically it make take a generation change. The doctor in this story is 37, and the generation coming up through med school today grew up online, so there’s no resistance there. Perhaps the “I prefer paper” generation will retire gently and the new way will be adopted by the up-and-comers.
Me, well, years ago I got me a doc who’s really online. We like it that way. Heck, when I got my out-of-the-blue bad-news x-ray, the other doc called him, and right there at home he pulled up my images on this computer screen. How sensible is that?
My only question for the Times is, they say 42% of family doctors have some sort of online records. I thought adoption of electronic medical records was really in the single digits. Let’s see if we can get some experts to speak up. (Perhaps there’s a big difference between “adoption” and “some sort of.”)