The Coming RevolutionBy Faisal Hoque | Posted 2009-09-17 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.
Beyond this, however, lies the revolution. Using IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer, the clinic will mine all patient data, transcribed doctors’ notes, outside databases, outside research and gene and protein knowledge to put right in front of the doctor everything that should be known about a patient. What has been learned from other patients and what is being discovered in the labs will be right there. You won’t have to print out articles from the Internet and carry them to your doctor any longer! It can take 17 years for new research to make it into a doctor’s office today. Not anymore.
Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest HMO, which serves 8.2 million patients, is moving down a similar path. One of the new things these systems offer is the ability of the patient to see his or her own medical records, make appointments online, get reminders for drug refills and appointments, and see test results. This gives the patient more involvement in his or her own care and is likely to make them a better patient.
Dr. Robert Pearl is Executive Director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group in Northern California. His advocacy of electronic medical records flows from personal experience. A few years ago his father, who lived half the year in New York and half in Florida, had his spleen removed. His doctors in both places were excellent. But each assumed the other had administered a post-operative vaccine that is common after these surgeries. One day at Dr. Pearl’s home in California he found his father on the floor. He had succumbed to pneumococcal septicemia.
“He died because medical care has become incredibly complex and because as a nation we have not devoted enough attention to implementing electronic medical record systems and other methods to ensure patient safety," Dr. Pearl wrote.
One of his father’s physicians, Dr. Pearl has said, relied on his father to remember what medications he was on. His father kept a list on a worn piece of paper in his pocket.
**The above article is adopted from the author's book, Sustained Innovation.
Faisal Hoque is an internationally known entrepreneur and author, and the founder and CEO of BTM Corporation (www.btmcorporation.com). His previous books include Sustained Innovation and Winning The 3-Legged Race. BTM innovates business models and enhances financial performance by converging business and technology with its products and intellectual property.
© 2009 Faisal Hoque | firstname.lastname@example.org
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