Lettuce and EMR

Posted on June 21, 2011 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.

One of my readers, Michael Archuleta from Red Planet EMR, sent me the following interesting narrative that talks about the Lettuce industry. It seems like there’s some interesting parallels to some of the government involvement we’re seeing in healthcare. Enjoy the story:

I recently attended the annual TigerLogic Conference to learn about new features and capabilities that are being incorporated into MvBase. While there, I had an interesting conversation with Eric, the data processing manager for a 30-user system. The company he works for is in the agribusiness field of growing lettuce.
“Why are you here?” I inquired.
“Well, the government wants to impose more regulations on us. Ever since the salmonella scare with spinach, the pressure has been on us growers to track things more effectively.”
“What,” I asked, “are you going to do? Spray- paint barcodes on heads of lettuce?”
“Not quite, but close. We are going to have to tag every crate of lettuce. The only problem is that once a problem is identified, that crate will have long since been destroyed.”
“So,” I pressed, “why are you here?”
“Well, we either have to spend 150,000 to upgrade our system, or we have to switch to a new government mandated system which will cost us 150K. It is huge either way.”
The government, I mused, invades yet another small American business.

I wonder if he got any of the stimulus money to upgrade their system.