The Future of Medicine
Why exactly do I think the following video encapsulates the future of medicine? Basically it comes down to the efficient implementation of information technology.
One of the hottest topics in healthcare policy circles today is electronic medical records. My personal opinion is that EMRs are a sorely needed component to improving our healthcare system. Their implementation is the only concrete intervention we can take to streamline how we provide care. Intergrating them into a practice is not easy and I will never argue otherwise. I have worked at two different hospitals as they have undergone transitions to full electronic records. Neither case has been particularly pretty, but the end result is definitely worth it.
BUT, getting EMR systems in each and every practice around the country just isn’t enough. Unfortunately, as the world moves on to the next generation of information technology (think the iPhone, Facebook, Google and its integrated apps, YouTube, etc), the medical world is still struggling to get the first generation of information technology going. Dr. Jay Parkinson, in this video, shows how the healthcare industry SHOULD be implementing advanced information technology systems into practices. Information technology has made giant leaps since the internet first gained momentum in the late 90s. Those giant leaps have come in the form of better and more effecient communication. As Dr. Parkinson points out, these gains can be an integral tool in mending the doctor-patient relationship and improving communication.
Policy makers and, more importantly, doctors need to take note. We need our brightest health systems researchers to look beyond simply putting paper charts on computers and figure out how to make those records dynamic and integrated with advanced communications tools that work for better, more efficient communication and patient care.