The Next Voice in the Chorus

Eliot Spitzer is the latest voice in the chorus advocating something other than bridges and roads for the stimulus package the Obama Administration is sure to roll out, advocating “transformative investments” in energy, healthcare, communications infrastructure, and education.

As I’ve said before, a smarter energy grid is probably the best largescale engineering project we could invest in. On the other hand I suspect that electronic record-keeping in healthcare won’t have nearly the impact that its advocates surmise. The reason we don’t already have it isn’t lack of investment in healthcare, it’s resistance from various groups including from within healthcare.

4 comments… add one
  • superdestroyer Link

    The DoD has worked on electronic medical records for decades. When you think about the underlying hardware and software change faster than the software can be updated. Also, the number of systems that have to be linked is enormous. The current status of software and hardware is a long way from creating a usable, completely connected, and upgradable.

  • That’s not the half of it, SD. I’m sorry to be the one to have to say it but the biggest obstacle to a usable medical records system is doctors. They’ll want to specify it, analyze it, design it, implement it, and approve it. They won’t want to use it. They’ll insist on every possible wizbang feature imaginable. Believe me, this is the voice of experience.

  • Larry Link

    Do you know how Medicare system works? How do they deal with the logistics of record keeping? It seems to work pretty well?

  • Larry, Medicare’s experience is irrelevant to the sort of electronic record-keeping being discussed—Medicare doesn’t currently retain such records.

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