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The Role of Technology In Healthcare

6/17/2016 11:54 AM

Yesterday, my internet buddy John Lynn posted a new blog titled "Technology is Just a Tool, It's Not the Solution to Healthcare's Problems."

Maybe. Maybe not.

First, we have to understand what he means by problems. He makes the usual metaphor about driving a nail with a screwdriver and building a table with the blueprints for a chair, and I'll bet his blueprints still smell like ammonia like they did in the 60's, and yes, John, I'm making fun of you. The point is, he never defines what he means by 'problems.' So let's see if we can define those for him.
  1. Healthcare is too expensive.
  2. There is no standardization of care.
  3. There is no coordination of care between facilities.
  4. There is too much paperwork, filling out of forms and questionnaires, both internally and by the patient.
  5. Documenting the encounter is cumbersome and time consuming.
  6. Payment (insurance) is cumbersome and time consuming.
  7. Lack of avenues of communication between practitioner and patient without an encounter.
Assuming that the doctors know what they are doing, and years of schooling and internship tell us this is so, all these problems can be addressed with technology that automates processes. Instead of a screwdriver and table, let's look at the manufacturing industry. Decades ago I was trained to use a machine that did the whole machining process from blank to finished and tested product all by itself. The machinist didn't even have to load the machine; just keep a pallet of blanks handy. That's what we've done to the medical and insurance industry here at Sentia. We already know we can cut 1/3 from the cost of healthcare tomorrow, but we can also coordinate between facilities (see previous blog post), allow the practitioner to design and build their own questionnaires without having to fill out paper(ok that is still in prototype stage, but its coming in a couple of weeks), document the encounter in the fastest way possible (maybe faster than paper), completely automate the payment process, and allow written communication between practitioner and patient. These are all accomplished through technology. Our goal is to free the practitioners from anything but saving lives. Maybe I am using the old Cincinnati Milacron (or whatever the latest and greatest is in the manufacturing industry) as intended instead of a screwdriver to hammer a nail, but that's what we geeks are for. We here at Sentia have the keys to a better future right here in our pockets. John Lynn, You have it wrong. We even have ways to help diagnose tough cases,(see here). So tell me again why we are expecting too much from technology?

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