Which is understandable since we all resist change. Also some of its provisions, e.g. electronic health records and Accountable Care Organizations, transform their usual way of doing things, threaten their autonomy, and, in effect, transfer much of their authority to a parent organization, be that hospital employers, health systems, or a new computer system that disrupting their usual practice patterns.
- John Irving, a principle in the Health Care Blog, one of America’s most widely read health blogs.
Technological changes will come in the form of diagnostic support, instant access to historical information, data about drug interactions, and electronic connections to patients and colleagues. The underlying idea behind these changes, advocated by both private sector and government , is to make care better and more cost-effective. But achieving these outcome will not be easy.
This is an era of experimentation, a search for a better way of doing things. Sometimes experiments fail, like ACO “savings,” EHR “efficiencies,” pay for value,” but these xperiments are gropings for better ways of doing things. Sometimes things get worse before they get better.
Will the change to a new computer system be hard? Yes. Change is always hard.
Let’s face it. You will have to become skilled and comfortable with entering, absorbing, and interpreting data electronically. Some of you will not like with computer system-driven care. You will find it lessens your personal productivity. It will be awkward to use and to digest. Some of you, particularly older physicians, may drop out, retire, form concierge practices, or join physician-driven groups.
But most of you will hang in there, welcome organizational transformation, and understand the need for management systems that promise better, more cost-effective care. We hope you will be leaders in this transition. There is a better world coming. Accept it. Help shape it.
As a modern Sherlock Holmes might say if he were referring to Watson, IBM's supercomputer now being applied to healthcare, " Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot."