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.