I am a skeptical person by nature. It turns out that has served me well in my field. For over 25 years I have listened to people proclaim how information technology will transform health care in the near future.

Usually I am the one trying to temper expectations. But, today I found myself claiming that we are on the verge of some really interesting things in healthcare technology. For a long time we have lacked the standards and networks that exist in in the financial sector. But, I believe we are close to implementing early versions of these at the state level. This is due to the federal stimulus funds and the hard work of state agencies partnering with the private sector.

Some aspects of the meaningful use are frustrating.  I believe we are still chasing a list of functionality that does not have a clear line of sight to specific and prioritized goals. I once heard this referred to as planning by the cover of Modern Healthcare.

But, I believe 5 years from now we will see interoperable heathcare systems at the state level. I am optimistic.

4 thoughts on “Optimism

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! Since I work on the development side of healthcare, I see many exciting solutions being readied for rollout in the healthcare space. The journey forward from now will finally bring healthcare data sharing to a new high level, reduce the chances of medical error, and increase the amount of collaboration!


  2. I am still skeptical. The technology may be there to accomplish the integration of systems but I am not sure if Clinicians are ready for it. Only time will tell.

  3. Until you start talking about security issues (CYBERWAR by Richard Clarke), I share your optimism about the positive impact healthcare IT will have on our system. I am in the software business and like what I see coming down the pike.

    For example:

    I urge anyone who is interested in healthcare IT advancements to take a hard look at a privately-held software development company in Colorado that has made an advancement that can be of benefit to many areas of healthcare. TerraFrame has developed and deployed an ontologically-based, GIS integrated disease management decision support system in Africa to fight malaria. This SaaS application was funded by the leading global combatants of this malaria and the system can be rapidly customized for deployment to other disease environments…especially if vector-borne diseases. TerraFrame’s technology team that is available to customize their software platform and to use GIS integrated ontologies to create decision support systems for any industry or government needs. They are interested in leveraging to creatively solve complex problems. For more information please contact Ray Hutchins at rh@terraframe.co

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