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Fear of Saying Yes to Healthcare IT

Posted on February 5, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve seen a theme this week in healthcare. The theme keeps coming up and so I thought I’d highlight it here for others to comment on. The following Twitter exchange illustrates the discussion:


This reply is about secure text, but “this” in Nick’s tweet could be a wide variety of tech solutions. So, fill in “this” with your favorite health IT solution.

Andrew Richards responded:

And then I replied:


Andrew is right that there are a lot of solutions out there, but the “gatekeepers” as he calls them are saying no. My tweet was limited to 140 characters, so I highlighted the fear element assciated with not saying yes. However, that definitely simplifies the reason they’re not saying yes. Let’s also be clear that they’re not usually saying no either. They’re just not saying yes (this is is sometimes called misery by sales people).

While I think fear is a major element why the health IT gatekeepers are saying no, there are other reasons. For example, many are so overwhelmed with “bigger” projects that they just don’t have the time to say yes to one more project. Even a project that has great potential to provide value to their organization. I’ve heard some people argue that this is just an excuse. In some cases that may be the case, but in others people really are busy with tons of projects.

Another obstacle I see is that many feel like they’ve been burned by past health IT projects. The front runner for burning people out is EHR. No doubt some really awful EHR implementations have left a black eye on any future healthcare IT projects. If you’d been through some of the awful EHR implementations that were done, you might be afraid of implementing more IT as well.

Nick Adkins finished the Twitter exchange with this tweet:


Nick has spent some time at burning man as you can tell from his tweet. However, a passion for improving healthcare and going above and beyond what we’re doing today is a key strategy to saying yes to challenging, but promising projects.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Are there other good reasons people should be afraid of implementing new technology? Do we need to overcome this fear? What’s going to help these health IT “gatekeepers” to start saying yes?

A Learning Health System – Closing the Gaps in Understanding and Applying Research Evidence in Clinical Care

Posted on November 4, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Nick Adkins shared a great tweet highlighting a post by Laura Crawford, an advisor for Eli Lilly, talking about her vision for a Learning Health System. Here’s an excerpt from Laura’s post:

The Learning Health System aims to close the gaps and lessen the delays in understanding and applying research evidence in clinical care. These gaps and this slowdown exist because of the sheer magnitude of the body of medical knowledge which doubles every 10-15 years. In fact, if a diligent doctor read 5 articles a night on new treatments for one year, they’d still need another 800 years to read the rest! Patients and health care professionals struggle to keep up with medical knowledge; we are at our cognitive limit when it comes to absorbing and applying evidence because:

  • There are now 9,000+ peer-reviewed biomedical journals
  • PubMed—the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of peer-reviewed medical articles—now adds over 2,000-4,000 articles to its database per day

Laura suggests that the solution to this cognitive overload is to create a Learning Health System. Since a picture is worth 1000 words, here’s a look at what that learning health system might look like:
The Learning Health System

I love the way this diagram illustrates the need to integrate and disseminate information from within your organization and external to your organization. One thing is certain. We need to find a more efficient way to make the evidence based medical knowledge that’s available more readily accessible to healthcare providers. Here’s one vision for making that possible, but no doubt there will be many more working to solve this incredibly important challenge.