Regarding Stuart Goldstein's How to unclog the paper jam:
When we consider reducing the cost of healthcare in this country, we should discuss both technological and social approaches.
Investigating technological improvements between healthcare payers and providers is at the crux of all regional health information organization, or RHIO, implementations across this country. Regions with a common technological platform succeedDelaware and Utahwhereas those that dont, fail. (See CalRHIO.) In fact, most RHIO implementations fail because of the competitive nature of healthcare providers, the complexity of consolidating diverse technological platforms and insufficient funding.
Should healthcare providers be placed in a position where they are competing for our lives?
A RHIOs expense is a result of the complexity of extracting information from disparate IT platforms, many of which are locked and proprietary.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves: Are the benefits of our current consumer model greater than those provided by socialized medicine? Socialized medicine that insists on a common technological platform moves us closer to a national health record, but at what cost? The consumer model certainly is not driving down costs, is it?
My understanding is that 80% of healthcare expenses are in the last 10 years of life.
Are we consumed with technological fixes because social changes are too difficult to discuss?
Lets begin a dialogue in this country about the quality of life, and come to grips with the fact that death is not the worst thing that can happen to an individual.
By eliminating healthcare expenses related to extending life beyond a reasonable point, we can drive down the cost of healthcare considerably.
Greg ParkNational account managerDB TechnologyClark, N.J.
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