This from the journal Medical Economics:

Health information technology (HIT) advances have failed to save the healthcare industry money because the current systems are too disconnected and difficult to use, according to a new report from Rand Corp.

What?  Technology is not the ultimate answer?

The Rand researchers predicted in 2005 that HIT could save the U.S. healthcare industry more than $81 billion per year. Seven years later, cost savings from HIT “are nowhere to be found considering that healthcare spending has grown by $800 billion”.  The authors of the study feel this could be fixed if “the systems are redesigned to address these flaws by creating more-standardized systems that are easier to use, are truly interoperable, and afford patients more access to and control over their health data”.  Good luck with that.  Every hospital system has different EMRs.   There are also tons of different EMRs for doctors’ offices, urgent care centers, and on and on.  Converting back to ONE system would be an enormous cost.  The horse is out of the barn.  So for quite a while longer when a patient goes to another medical system we will have to continue to print someone’s electronic medical records, fax them and rescan them  while we work this out.   And that is really not that cheap or efficient.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Stalled

  1. mamadoc
    March 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    The original point of the whole HIT exercise required interoperability. The technology wasn’t (and still isn’t) there yet but did that stop the government from cramming down everybody’s collective throat?

  2. Kurt
    March 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I’m tired of masturbating a keyboard. The Dr. has to “piss” on everything and can’t delegate tasks anymore.

    Ah, EMR propagates medication errors FAR WORSE than when things were manual. Hell, the brain had to be engaged before moving the pen.

    PLUS, our pharmacy colleages were more prone to mention a discrepancy to the nurse who was phoning the refills in. Now they get an “email” or “fax” and assume a change is the rule.

    The ivory tower bastards deserve something “really bad” for the wholesale “electronification” of medicine without thought!!!

    Plus I pity the poor med students who are falling for the pablum that primary care is great. Most patients are fine it’s all the
    uncompensateable bullshit that Docs are expected to do.
    Shit rolls downhill onto the heads of primary care practitioners.

  3. Kathy Wire
    March 27, 2013 at 8:52 am


  4. Ken
    March 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Paying physicians to do data entry is ridiculously unproductive.

  5. Dan Braun
    March 23, 2013 at 9:39 am

    The rising cost of health care is the rising cost of “fear” of litigation. HIT has little to do with that.

  6. Pat Conrad
    March 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Ha, ha, no, but it IS funny. I hope your pro-government readers will join in and explain to us all why these mandates for HIT were really a good thing.

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