Will Medicine Be Walmart-ized?

In his new essay, David M. Cutler prognosticates an intriguing, yet impersonal healthcare future. He says, “the idea that technology will change medicine is as old as the electronic computer itself.” And we agree with his proposal.

However, there’s a lot of information out there, and for the most part, it’s not made available at the right time. Think about it: how many times do we hear about a patient receiving an incorrect dosage or a drug that causes an allergic reaction? And, as more docs “get wired” and adopt EMRs, there will be even more parties contributing to the collective consciousness of medicine. Just look at the numbers. Since the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created the HiTech program, billions of dollars have been allocated for doctors and hospitals to purchase EHR software/systems. According to Cutler, “Since the program was enacted, rates of ownership of such systems have tripled among hospitals and quadrupled among physicians.”

Okay, but what happens when all of medicine gets connected?

Cutler says healthcare will be delivered in a more standardized fashion, with less overall cost, but less of a personal touch.

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UPDATE: Dr. Josh’s Interview With The Objective Standard Now Available Online

Head over to TheObjectiveStandard.com to read Dr. Josh’s recent interview with Ari Armstrong. We sent out a PDF copy last week to our subscribers, but if you missed it, you’re in luck. You can check it out right there on the website, or download it as a PDF.

In the interview, Dr. Josh fleshes out his vision of direct care, one that’s taken the interest of influential parties, including patients, doctors, insurance companies, and even members of the state congresses. Yes, direct care sounds utopic, and therefore unrealizable, but if you remove the bias and look at the data and listen to its success stories, it’s clear that healthcare wins when doctors spend time with patients and not paperwork. Of course, direct care doctors see many fewer patients than those operating inside the red tape, and Dr. Josh addresses this issue with honesty and conviction.

Ari Armstrong is the assistant editor of The Objective Standard, and a writer/blogger based in Colorado. Besides purveying the philosophy of Ayn Rand, his book Values of Harry Potter: Lessons for Muggles explores themes contained within J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter novels. Obviously, Ari’s well-rounded. Thanks to him for conducting such an insightful conversation about direct care.