The survey results rather than the headline of the brief article, EHR still top health IT priority: survey, is encouraging to me. It may mean that the herd mentality of healthcare IT is waning as we roll through the trough of the hype cycle.
What's needed, after all, are ways of reducing healthcare costs and errors while improving quality, not emotionally cathartic techno-religious campaigns for spending money that largely create the opposite illusions while boosting revenue for vendors and burnishing political personas. When it comes to EHRs on a large scale, we need look no further than Kaiser's EHR projects or Britain's National Health EHR project to see that such "systems" will add more to the cost of healthcare than they will help. The way forward is to evaluate how small-scale technologies can add more value than they cost, for example, simple bar coding of operating room instruments.
Tom ShillockPresidentM2 ConsultingPortland, Ore.To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.