Health care leaders lag on IT policy

I came across an interesting news article talking about Newt Gingrich and his frustration with the health care system’s unwillingness to adopt IT. He gave a presentation at this year’s HIMSS conference. Basically, he tells a story of how the youngest in our society are at ease with technology, pushing for more technology, and yet our health care system is somewhat of an anachronism in today’s information-driven society. He uses an example of how a certain state is mandating printed/written prescriptions over electronic ones.

Question: Just because the rest of society is moving in one direction, does it mean that health care should? Should health care move at the same pace, or to the same degree? What about those who choose and prefer paper-based solutions? Do we leave them “behind”? One last thought…how come we always talk about those six-year old kids using technology, and not about what technology can do for the elderly, homeless, or disenfranchised?

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t use technology. It’s just that we haven’t demonstrated that we know how to use technology effectively within the context of health care. We’re all still banking on the *potential* benefits of using more ICTs. I guess after reading Neil Postman’s Technopoly some of my doubts took form. Also, as a “scientist”, I adhere to the principle that new interventions do not make a difference (i.e., null-hypothesis) until proven otherwise. This particular lesson was learned during my on-going discussions with my thesis committee.

Centre for Health Transformation

Came across this site based on the article listed above. You can find information at Apparently, the goal of this centre is to provide options that will help accelerate the transformation of the health care system “to an individual-centered 21st century system of health and healthcare characterized by better outcomes and more choices at lower cost”. There may be an interesting opportunity for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation to collaborate with this group. I’m going to contact them to see if there’s any interest. Will keep you updated.


One response to “Health care leaders lag on IT policy”

  1. William Hill Avatar

    Health Information Technology (IT) provides comprehensive management of medical information and its secure exchange between both health care consumers and providers.

    We in the United States know how to make things work. For example, we have an expansive freeway system that moves people and goods across the country. We also have some of the most advanced health care in the world. Improvements in medicine are helping people to live longer and more active lives. And yet, for more and more people health care is a problem.