Difficult to blog in the US on healthcare IT?

A US doctor has written to me saying it is now “very difficult to blog on healthcare IT for fear of reprisals”. 

He adds: “In recent discussions about healthcare reform almost every ‘authority’ has pointed to healthcare IT and specifically to EMRs as the pathway to increased productivity and improved safety.  But even the Congress’s budget office acknowledges that there are few savings to be had and uncertain prospects for success.

“Healthcare IT has become symbolic. It is now a talisman that everyone touches to affirm their commitment to better healthcare.  The sources of our healthcare mess are not, of course, the lack of technology. But it is politically convenient to make these claims because they create the impression that the power elites have the problem well in hand.

“New systems fail quite often. But big, new systems – because they are so invested with political and economic resources – cannot fail. Instead of failure, their builders and owners collude to redefine success as what they have managed to put together.

“Never mind that it is flawed, only a partial system, which lacks most of the features that were supposed to yield great benefits, by which the system was sold to the consumers, and is awkward and brittle in ways that force all the users to do even more work to make up for the deficiencies.

No doubt the U.S. experience with its big, new system will be a success.”


Why do EMRs fail? – Newmediamedicine