Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Prooccupies Physicians

Maybe the preoccupation with technologic progress has overshadowed our concern with human progress.

Wynton Marsalis (1961- ), American jazz musician

Physicians are preoccupied with health reform, their fate, and the fate of their patients.


January 26, 2012 – From time to time, I review the “stats” of my Medinnovation blog. Why? I want to know what essays of mine people are reading. Since most of my readers are physicians, it useful to review what they are reading so I can address their concerns in the future.

Here is a summary of the stats, in order of number of top blogs read.

Over Last Three Years

1. Is Practice Fusion’s “Free” EHR for Real?

2. Interviews, Physician Shortage

3. Primary Care Revolt: Replace the RUC

4. The Low Value of Primary Care in Eyes of Patients

5. The Future of Accountable Care Organizations

Over the Last Month

1. Is Practice Fusion’s “Free” EHR for Real?

2. The Time Has Come: Physician Productivity and Telemedicine

3. Health Reform: Does it Matter What the Public Thinks?

4. Health Care Future Bright for Nurses. Stinks for Doctors

5. Power of Humanistic-HIT Integration


I do not want to put too fine a point on these results.

Basically the results show these proccupations.

• A preoccupation with installing the most efficient EHRs for as low a price as possible. Much of this preoccupation, no doubt, is due to how to respond to federal financial incentives for “meaningful use” and a sense that EHR use is inevitable. EHRs are also improving in their relevance and their use is being facilitted by lower installation costs and by processing in the “Cloud,” which makes onsite hardware and software on practice sites unnecessary.

• A preoccupation with the shortage of primary care physicians, their low morale, their perceived dismal future, and increasing their income and status.

• A preoccupation with how to bring about increasing productivity through the use new-fangled software that will allow, among other things, faster patient throughput and more virtual visits.

• A preoccupation with the continuing unpopularity of Obamacare, now at 58%, and Democrats’ dismissal or silence of this lack of popularity. As President Obama said in his State of the Address, “There is no going back.” He dismissed health reform in two sentences.

• A preoccupation with Accountable Care Organizations – what they mean, what to do about them.

Doctors are preoccupied with what to do about EHRs, the fate of primary care physicians, increasing physician productivity, and ACOs.


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