In response to Jean DerGurahian's HIT efforts not enough for reaching IOM goals: report":
I am a recently retired physician with 35 years of experience in the hospital and office trenches, with medical small businesses and politics at every level.
Implementation of health information technology enterprise systems is expensive, time- and human-resource intensive, and is accomplished in phases. So too, with the HIT-related implementation of "improved patient care" (whatever that is); at present there is conflicting data in support of this as a primary goal. I think expectations for HIT need to be moderated by the prospect of unintended consequences.
If HIT will make delivery of medical resources more efficient, improve logistics and availability, and maybe, through data-mining and analysis, improve understanding of some disease processes, that is good. Is that improved patient care?
But at what expense? At what risks for privacy and exploitation? And, perhaps, at what risk from the changes in the traditional physician-patient relationship? If the computers say it is, then it must be.
A simple, transportable, inexpensive, reliable and universal document system is not what the HIT enterprise seems to want.
Mark Coan, M.D.Atlanta To submit a letter to the Modern Physician Reader Blog, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown. Modern Physician reserves the right to edit all submissions.