On today’s #HITsm chat, the question was posed “Do you think EHR systems improve care coordination? Please elaborate.” This was my response:
I think the EHR offers slight improvements. Easily accessing the paper chart by a clinician helps vs can’t find the paper chart. However, the EHRs best value in care coordination will be when other outside companies can get access to the data. #HITsm https://t.co/otQlqzIHn5
— John Lynn (@techguy) February 19, 2021
As any good #HITsm Twitter chat should do, Mandi Bishop extended the conversation with this astute observation:
Seconding this and adding – when the receiving organization can ingest and apply the info in real-time. Otherwise, it’s just a slightly-faster fax requiring human intervention to load into the new workflow. #HITsm (HI, folks!) https://t.co/sMCrbExcZF
— Mandi Bishop (@MandiBPro) February 19, 2021
As I thought about this more, Mandi’s comment on “slightly-faster fax” was an illustration of health IT in general.
Slightly faster fax.
Slightly faster paper charts.
Slightly faster check-in.
Slightly faster pagers.
Slightly faster phone calls.
Slightly faster payments.
Disruption in healthcare is harder. Thus why we see so much incremental progress in healthcare versus true disruption. Searching on this topic, I found an article I wrote back in 2014 “EHR Is Not Distruptive…And Never Will Be” where I said the following:
EHR weren’t meant to be and they won’t ever be disruptive. In fact, they cement in the status quo. I think we see this playing out more and more every day.
7 years later and this is true as ever. I know that many are watching big tech come into healthcare and waiting and watching for them to disrupt healthcare. Maybe they will. Although, I still hearken back to the question of whether big tech will disrupt healthcare or profit from healthcare’s dysfunction.
To be honest, we’re in kind of a weird place full of potential and full of systemic problems that hold things back. Mandi also quoted our friend Shahid Shah that said truly disrupting a $4 trillion industry is…not as easy as everyone who’s announcing the latest disruptive technology would seem to believe. She also commented that the regulatory environment will have to play ball which we all know makes this really complex and challenging.
How do we enable true disruption in healthcare? Is that what’s even needed? Or is incremental change enough? Will all of those incremental changes in healthcare lead to disruption over time? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Should we throw out the word disruption entirely in healthcare? Is “slightly faster” enough?