UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 12, 2009

OBAMA'S DUBIOUS & HYPER EXPENSIVE MEDICAL RECORDS PLAN

Of all the things that need fixing in our country this would belong near the bottom of the list. There are numerous problems: cost, governmental interference in medical decisions (doctors will inevitably be told what data they need to keep and how to keep it), the difficulty in reading doctor's handwritten notes, training doctors and nurses in the system, patient privacy and the high likelihood of error in transcribing the records. This project reeks of a medical version of No Child Left Behind - a dubious program that will make certain campaign contributors an awful lot of money, with no verifiable proof that it will improve life that much. Obama loses 3 points on our Obama Meter for this one.

CNN - President-elect Barack Obama, as part of the effort to revive the economy, has proposed a massive effort to modernize health care by making all health records standardized and electronic. Here's the audacious plan: Computerize all health records within five years. . .

Only about 8% of the nation's 5,000 hospitals and 17% of its 800,000 physicians currently use the kind of common computerized record-keeping systems that Obama envisions for the whole nation. And some experts say that serious concerns about patient privacy must be addressed first. Finally, the country suffers a dearth of skilled workers necessary to build and implement the necessary technology. . .

It also won't come cheap. Independent studies from Harvard, RAND and the Commonwealth Fund have shown that such a plan could cost at least $75 billion to $100 billion over the ten years they think the hospitals would need to implement program.

That's a huge amount of money -- since the total cost of the stimulus plan is estimated to cost about $800 billion, the health care initiative would be one of the priciest parts to the plan.

The biggest cost will be paying and training the labor force needed to create the network. Luis Castillo, senior vice president of Siemens Healthcare, a company that designs health care technology, said the laborers will have the extremely difficult task of designing a a system that "thinks like a physician.". . .

But highly skilled health information technology professionals are as rare as they come, and many IT workers will need to be trained as health technology experts.

Early government estimates showed about 212,000 jobs could be created from this program, but [one expert] said there simply aren't that many Americans who are qualified.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get this straight: this program will not create many technical jobs (programmers, designers, etc). It will, however, create legions more clerical workers, i.e. bureaucracy. Last I checked, neither technologists nor clerical workers actually deliver health care services, except perhaps in the abstract. Sam is right. This sounds like an expensive solution to a non-problem.

January 12, 2009 2:29 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

This is something that is needed - eventually. It could conceivably help decrease the number of medical mistakes. My clinic has it and it helps the doctors a lot. HOWEVER, it certainly isn't the most critical issue the medical profession faces, not by a long shot. Single-payer healthcare would easily give a much bigger bang for the buck. And, yes, if health companies are like other companies they would hire 10 "business analysts" for every technologist, thereby slowing and complicating the effort.

January 13, 2009 12:27 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Alex Papas, has been credited for creating and developing the prepaid phone card in the United States. Since starting the prepaid phone card industry he has helped major companies get their name and products into the market place. Companies include Verizon, Sprint, PT-1 and Playboy to name a few. He has now again created and developed another great product for everyone. It’s called the MedeFile Card. MedeFile's centralized, confidential electronic portfolio gives everyone 24/7 access to there medical history. No more wasting time and filling out paperwork when you go to the doctor or the hospital. All Medefile Card members get a free MedeDrive (a small usb drive) that fits on your key chain, so now, just hand your MedeDrive to the receptionist its that simple. Papas is dontating $100 million in Medefile Cards to companies & charities now.He has already donated to the Lupus Foundation, Marriot hotels,Lowes Hotels,Child Life Foundation and many other companies and foundations.You can contact Alex Papas at 954 729 8888

January 18, 2009 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you receive a hand written check for your work? Or do you get a COMPUTER generated check? IT workers are the ones that keep your checks coming on time. We keep you working and make sure you are getting the information to do your job correctly no matter what industry your work in. Go back to doing your job without a computer and see how productive you are compared to your counterparts.

February 2, 2009 11:53 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Free Digital Medical USB drives are being donated to companies for there employees, there families and customers. Alex Papas, has been credited for creating and developing the prepaid phone card in the United States. Since starting the prepaid phone card industry he has helped major companies get their name and products into the market place. Companies include Verizon, Sprint, PT-1 and Playboy to name a few. He has now again created and developed another great product for everyone called the Medefile Card.MedeFile's centralized, confidential electronic portfolio gives everyone 24/7 access to there medical history. Hospitals, Doctors, EMT’s and all other Emergency personnel are now relying on Digital Medical Records. Emergency personnel now know in an instant who you are, your blood type, your allergies and your emergency contacts. Knowing that, could say your life. Also you now don’t have to waste time filling out paperwork when you go to the doctor or the hospital. The USB drive fits on your key chain. So now, just hand your MedeDrive to the receptionist it’s that simple. Papas is donating $100 million in MedeDrive’s to companies & charities now. Papas has already donated Medefile Cards to the Lupus Foundation, CBS Radio, Marriot Hotels, Lowes Hotels, Child Life Foundation, to name a few. To see how it works go to www.medefilecard.com Contact Alex Papas for more details 954 729 8888 or email alextelcom@aol.com

February 10, 2009 7:19 PM  

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