The last two weeks have been tumultuous with financial markets bobbing up and down like yo-yos and trillions of dollars being made and lost within a matter of days. Europe is in trouble, the U.S. narrowly made critical decisions to avoid a debt default confounded by partisan bickering, and Canada’s currency devalued by almost 5% against the dollar over the same time frame. Instability seems to be reigning at the moment.
And yet, the sun rises and sets as it supposed to do, people buy food and utilize healthcare services, and the population continues to age.
Internationally, pharmaceutical companies are scaling back their sales forces en masse by up to 25% to deal with the massive genericization of brand-name drugs that are soon to be off patent protection, with the promise the medications will become less expensive; however, there is no sense that healthcare costs are going to decrease anytime soon.
The one observation that has always struck me (wearing my physician hat) is that demand for healthcare services never stops or seems to decrease. Long after political parties have changed, drug companies have come and gone, and healthcare systems have re-modelled by choice or necessity, physicians, nurses, and other clinical and support staff will be looking after patients just as they have done for hundreds of years.
Electronic Medical Records have the potential to improve quality of care significantly. We know this anecdotally from thousands of practices that have adopted the technology. Can they do better? Definitely. But only when the tools and services are more comprehensive and map more closely to what clinicians need.
Last week I was discussing the opportunity to create a “Clinical Impact” talk show on CanadianEMR with a nationally respected colleague. This would be a 20–30 minute real-time or recorded talk show focusing on areas of clinical improvement where the use of technology is really making a difference in the delivery of care.
I believe the concept has merit — discussion of the pros and cons of healthcare IT from a clinical perspective — no holds barred.
What do you think? Would this be a benefit or just more noise in an already complex system?
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