We Have the Technology

By Faisal Hoque Print this article Print

You would never put up with anything as inefficient as the US healthcare system in your own organization. Maybe we should apply some of the principles you use to the problem.

Actually, we already have the technology we need. A few examples:

We have CPOEs, computerized physician order entry systems, with which doctors can file prescriptions and give orders for lab work. These can issue alerts on possible adverse drug interactions. Mistakes are reduced, as are time and costs.

We have EHRs, electronic health records, which capture every piece of information about a patient and are accessible to qualified medical personnel online. In an emergency the patient doesn’t have to remember drugs he’s taking and nobody has to track down a manila folder.

We have CDSS, clinical decision support systems. These advise doctors on the latest best practices in diagnosis and treatment, allowing them to customize what they do for an individual patient. This is controversial terrain. There is obviously a difference between what is known in the aggregate and what is right for an individual. And nobody wants insurance companies to use this information to turn doctors into robots; there is enough policing of physicians in the name of cost-containment today.

Nevertheless, when studies indicate that only about half of all patients get widely accepted and uncontroversial advice from their doctors – such as taking aspirin for heart conditions – it’s time we considered something new. Moreover, if we had a national, interoperative, medical information network, we would be able to see patterns in the aggregate data. We could learn, for example, whether a certain test is actually worthwhile in a certain situation. The quality of healthcare would go up and the cost would go down.

This article was originally published on 2009-09-17
Faisal Hoque, Founder, Chairman and CEO, BTM Corporation Faisal Hoque is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Business Technology Management Corporation. BTM Corporation innovates new business models, enhances financial performance, and improves operational efficiency at leading global corporations, government agencies, and social businesses by converging business and technology with its unique products and intellectual property (IP). A former senior executive at General Electric (GE) and other multi-nationals, Mr. Hoque is an internationally known, visionary entrepreneur and award winning thought leader. He conceived and developed Business Technology Management (BTM) to direct the social and economic growth of organizations by converging business and technology, helping transform them into "whole-brained enterprises." He is the author of "The Alignment Effect," "Winning the 3-Legged Race," and "Sustained Innovation," among other publications.
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