60 Minutes EHR Story, EMR Disconnect, and EMR Erector Set

Posted on December 2, 2012 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 don’t know how many other people watched the 60 Minutes healthcare story tonight. It will be up on CBS.com tomorrow if you’re interested in seeing it. While, EHR wasn’t the complete focus of the story, it played a large part in the second half when it comes to trying to get doctors to admit more patients to the hospital. The core of the story was more around whether hospitals should set admission goals.

I’ll leave the admission goals to other healthcare people. When it comes to EHR suggesting admitting a patient, you’re walking a fine line. The future of EHR is going to be more artificial intelligence that works to inform the doctor in the process of giving care. This could certainly include standards of care which could include admitting a patient to the hospital based on an evidence based standard of care. I don’t think most doctors have any problem with this type of EHR suggestion as long as the doctor can also make an informed override of the suggestion.

In the 60 Minutes story they suggested that Health Management Associates (HMA) would “punish” those doctors who used the override when a hospital admission was suggested. Reviewing overrides is reasonable and acceptable, but when punishment is due to hospital revenue it crosses the line. This is what was suggested by the 60 Minutes story.

The other thing not discussed in the story is whether the hospital admission prompt in the EHR was created around evidence based medicine or if it was created around revenue plans. One ED doctor suggested the hospital admission alert was done by a non-doctor with no medical training. I’d be interested to learn more about how the hospital admission alerts were really created.

I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more discussion coming out of this 60 Minutes story on Health Management Associates (HMA).

This was an interesting tweet that displays the need in this highly connected world to be able to disconnect. I agree this is a problem, but I don’t think the technology is the problem. It’s the expectation that’s the problem. Once you deal with the expectation issues, then the technology is a benefit and not a weight on your life.

I heard someone else in the mHealth Summit Twitter hashtag talk about mHealth being a toddler when it comes to how far its developed. We’re probably only a 7-8 year old in the EHR world. So many more opportunities available for healthcare.