Hospitals Computer and Math Jobs Keep Going Up

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As we digitized healthcare, so have hospitals increased their hiring of for non-medical folk. From 2010 to 2014, there was a 17.9 percent increase in the number of computer and match science positions in hospitals.  Wow.  The ratio of patients per nurse goes up but we have a massive hiring spree on techies?  How has this helped medical care? Probably not much.  Most of this tech work is to fulfill useless mandates, appease administrative bureaucrats and get good grades on quality metrics that have never been proven.  I predict a day, not that far off, that there is going to be more of these computer and match science personal in hospitals than there are nurses.  You heard it here first.  

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 “Hospitals Computer and Math Jobs Keep Going Up

  1. Vincent
    July 24, 2016 at 8:27 am

    There are already more non-clinical employees in hospitals than clinical. Have you seen the parking lots on the weekends? Nearly Empty. But the number of patients in the hospital hasn’t changed. All those empty parking spots represent mostly non-clinical personnel.

  2. Sir Lance-a-lot
    July 24, 2016 at 7:36 am

    C’mon, Doug, you know where this is heading.

    Soon everyone will be issued their own little BP/pulse/temp/SpO2/glucose monitoring device by their health insurance company, which owns their doctor’s office, and will be required to use it in conjunction with a smartphone app whenever they need medical care:
    Log on, transmit vitals, answer questions through question tree, transmit photos of face, lesion, rash, etc. (for computer analysis and interpretation), and have your prescription electronically transmitted to the drug store, or an ambulance dispatched to your GPS location.

    Health care facilities will have almost no doctors, and will employ tech people almost exclusively.

    Think I’m kidding?

    • Pat
      July 24, 2016 at 8:49 am

      You are certainly not kidding – that is what society increasingly claims to prefer.

    • Steve O'
      July 24, 2016 at 10:05 am

      The biggest tech breakthrough is the sentence on the contract – “Use at your own risk. Not a substitute for examination by licensed healthcare professional.” That’s revolutionary! Of course, if you dump the risk on the patient, you save beaucoup dollars, no matter what you do. Missed grandma’s volvulus, baby’s meningitis? Oooh, too bad – so sad! Now that’s progress! Still, don’t go into tech – go into finance and insurance for the big money.

    • Dr Dave
      July 24, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Actually I think that would be a good thing. Take out the automatic read of results and interpretation but I think we would all be better if all the nonsense data collection was handled by the patient and we didn’t need to actually have an office to practice out of except where needed. I would MUCH prefer to use a video teleconference connection in my living room to talk to a patient then to have to go to the office wait for the staff to get the data collected and then clean up the room etc.
      The future should be video based but that doesn’t mean we should be hiring all these tech people. I have waited for an Oncology PA for now going on 2 years but the hospital says we can’t justify it with 5 docs in a group …..
      BUT we spent 126 MILLION dollars on a customized version of a software package that we installed in 2011 and now in November are going to toss it out in favor of a better program from a commercial off-the-shelf vendor but of course no discount for lost expenses in training 38 campuses and THOUSANDS of employees/doctors/admin/etc.
      We went from patient care focused to data collection focused in some miraculous misconceived notion that if we collect enough we will no longer need us and that the computers will do it better. I have played with Watson and trust me it is no way close to replacing a doctor at his/her daily function. SURE it is GREAT at coming up with differential diagnoses that any resident can do even the Zebras but narrowing it to the needs of the specific patient still needs colds and a warm heart.
      Dr D

  3. Thomas Guastavino
    July 24, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Does anyone know where I can find a current breakdown of where the health care dollars are being spent? Out of every dollar how much goes to physicians, administration, tech, nurses, pharma etc. etc..

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