Health IT's Future: 9 Issues To Watch - InformationWeek

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Health IT's Future: 9 Issues To Watch
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progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 3:46:43 PM
Re: Human nature
Something tells me that the "Live Free or Die' state will never have a helmet law.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 1:30:59 PM
Re: Human nature
I live near the border of New Hampshire, and seems like every few years the debate about a helmet law for motorcycle riders comes up. In Massachusetts, a helmet is required. Go over the border and it's not. This to me distills the nanny state argument -- it's more dramatic than twinkies and soda, anyway.

Does society's interest justify forcing people who want the privilege of a license to operate a motorcycle to wear a helmet, so that it's less likely that an accident will result in traumatic head trauma that will render that person (let's be blunt) a burden on his or her family and society as a whole for possibly many years and to the tune of many thousands of dollars? 

Periodically someone runs the numbers and argues, yes. But the measure never goes anywhere because someone argues, how do you put a price on personal freedom? I don't know the answer, but seems like in a civil society, a price does have to be placed.

 
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2014 | 10:16:40 AM
Re: Human nature
And that's the thing that frustrates me.  I am health and fitness conscious to a fault, and my benefits and insurance costs are shooting through the roof because of my peers that are courting unhealthy lifestyles.  I know employers can't make these types of decisions legally, I am just kind of postulating.  It's unfortunate that the technical age we live in has evolved to most of us sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen, only to go home and sit on a couch in front of a tv screen - we have evolved ourselves to a slow unhealthy death.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 10:15:54 AM
Re: Shrinking of IT
I agree, @progman2000, that we're going to see more outsourcing to solution providers and consulting firms for a lot of the plumbing work. I believe we'll see healthcare organizations rely extensively on internal IT for business-critical roles: Things like developing workflows, creating apps, recommending solutions and technologies to resolve organizational problems and hurdles, or to address big picture things like 'how do we make our patients more engaged' or 'how can we reduce staph infections?' 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 10:11:15 AM
Re: Human nature
Not sure of the legalities of this. Employees are protected, at least in theory and on paper, from being fired because of medical reasons. That said, I would imagine you wouldn't have to search very hard to find people who believe they were let go, at least in part, because they had some kind of medical condition; proving it might be difficult, though. And while a company would be very unlikely to say they didn't hire you because you'd had X, Y, or Z, it's pretty tough to think that wouldn't be part of the equation. So if they knew you lived on a diet of Twinkies and Coke, never walked when you could drive, and were on 25 medications, their opinion of you could well be colored long before they read your resume -- if they ever got that far. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 10:05:59 AM
Re: data
Over the weekend I was speaking to someone who works in security at a healthcare system in Florida who was telling me a little about the steps and processes they have to take to protect data from internal staff, the review processes and automated tools they have in place, and what they do if there's any chance someone is looking at a file they shouldn't be reviewing. Because of HIPAA, this is something they're continuously updating and fine-tuning -- and something they couldn't really do as well, without EHRs.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
9/30/2014 | 10:02:52 AM
Re: Human nature
We, as society, must be careful about how we treat data that's so easily available and the blurry lines -- getting blurrier -- around what's 'health' data and what isn't. Many of us overshare on social media. Couple that with the many clever ways marketers gather information on us (like the oft-told tale about Target knowing a young woman was pregnant before she told her family), and it's easy to see why some are concerned about any merger of shopping habits with medical files. Yet, others say, it's important for your doctor to know you live on a diet of fast food, Twinkies, and soda. 

Personally, I think that's absolutely reprehensible. Adulthood means being responsible for our own actions and the nanny state should not step into our bedrooms -- or pantries. Others might argue that healthcare costs are exploding; society pays to care for all those whose health suffers as a result of those poor choices so doctors have a right to know what they're using to fuel their bodies. To me, that's going to far unless it's very clearly marked opt-in.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 2:49:49 PM
Shrinking of IT
I think I have been seeing a shrinking of IT Staff/Resources.  The move towards cloud computing and infrastructure has also leant itself to IT outsourcing.  Couple that with budgets getting squeezed and I have seen many hospitals move towards smaller IT staffs and enlisting the services of larger EMR providers to offer complete IT solutions.  Not sure yet if this is a good thing...
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 2:29:17 PM
Re: Human nature
That is an interesting twist Lorna.  Although that kind of begs the question, will employere fire/not hire employees who adhere to poor lifestyle habits and drive up the cost of their HC.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2014 | 12:15:43 PM
data
"Data" another main concern for many organizations. Irrespective of the organization type, it is important to protect customer/client data. Therefore it is important to introduce, data protection acts for the employees.
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