Technology in healthcare
Technology in healthcare systems (hospitals, groups) have not been the solution to healthcare’s ills. As wee know, the use of technology has made a sea-change in other industries- A good example is banking. Most routine banking activities can now be done electronically. The occupation of “bank teller” has changed considerably – most of us cannot recall the last time we physically entered a bank. In most industries, adoption and use of technology leads to improving, enhancing or changing work flow, which are often better than the status quo: so the way we do something is better and different. Unfortunately, often the consequence of this is a loss or re-configuration of an occupation. For example, before direct deposits in the bank, bank tellers were often very busy on Friday afternoons to deposit checks. Most of us use ATMs currently to withdraw money – so the need for a teller or a human being is not as critical.
Why has technology use not lived up to its promise in healthcare – what makes healthcare different? The fundamental problems are with the software as it stands now,
- The software, especially ones adopted by systems or hospitals) is a “one-size fits all” system. But unfortunately healthcare does not fit into this paradigm. The daily clinical requirements for an orthopedic surgeon are vastly different from those of a cardiologist. Often these systems are very expensive to implement, and, often, physicians and their care team do not achieve or recover their baseline volumes leading to impaired access.
- The software is optimized for billing, not clinical care; therefore “documentation” of the clinical encounter to enhance billing unfortunately becomes the focus. Often it takes longer and more effort to perform even routine clinical activities. The entire care team spends an inordinate amount of time on computer work not clinical. Many studies have demonstrated this unfortunate fact. Current EMR systems and the administrative burdens have been shown to be a major source of physician frustration and burnout.
ARE APPS MORE CUSTOMIZED?
I have a condition called Ataxia- the condition causes me speech and balance problems. I use technology daily to manage it. I am not marketing these apps or technologies; just pointing out how I use them.
- Oura ring: It automatically tags activities which I try to so everyday (yoga, cycling, walking, etc.) which is important for managing the condition
- Pacesetter: app to help with speech. Helps me with my pace of talking, and vocal exercises poetry, tongue twisters)