Regarding the article PHRs could save $21 billion annually, study says:
To save $21 billion annually, where will the savings come from? How may layoffs? Its these30 minutes per person per day saving calculationsthat scare me.
For anyone who has been in healthcare for 35-40 years, the introduction of electronic thermometers is something they may recall. These devices were supposed to save hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Did they? No! Expenditures actually increased. The same scenario occurred with the introduction of disposable surgical packs and gowns. The examples are too numerous to mention.
Does anyone know about C. Northcote Parkinsons First Law? Simply, it is: Work expands to fill available time.
In the mid-1990s, the Efficient Healthcare Consumer Response process announced by the supply industry was supposed to save billions annually by electronic data interface. Did it save money? Zero, zippo, zilch in real dollars were saved!
Show me the line-item projections! Its such data that lull politicians into thinking that automation will save the U.S. healthcare industry. What happens when reality sets in? The words Gee, we were wrong, will not be enough!
I have spent decades in the study of healthcare expense and change management. Ive seen too many gimmicks, games and illusions. This nation cannot afford illusions.
When the study is published that takes into account software design, on-going updating, processes to fix data errorsincluding additional staff, additional equipment, etc., then Ill apologize for being an alarmist.
William McFaulFormer expense and change-management consultantJackson, N.J.
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