Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Australian Broadcasting Commission airs Commentary on Electronic Heath Records

In a further sign that health is going to be a major issue in the upcoming election the ABC’s 7.30 Report has aired a segment on the need for electronic health records (EHR).

The segment which aired on the 3rd October, 2007 is described by the ABC as follows:

Outdated medical system threatening lives

Horror stories about Australia's dilapidated health infrastructure have been much in the news lately - what's less well-understood is that one of the major killers of patients is the medical system's own chronic inability to share vital information.

Contains: video, video extras, image, links, transcript.

The report can be downloaded (for the next week or so) at the following URL’s

Outdated medical system threatening lives [mp4] [wmv] (03/10/2007)

After a week or so the title URL will still allow the 8.31 minute segment to be watched as streaming audio for at least 2 months.


When I heard about this segment being aired I was hopeful it would usefully stimulate some debate regarding the performances being seen from our various governments. The following is a commenting e-mail I sent to some professional e-health e-mail lists.


Subject: [achi] [GPCG_TALK] 7.30 Report - Oct 3 2007, Segment on E-Health

Delivery-Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 08:27:56 -0000


I agree that from the perspective of those immersed in this field - it was lacking any depth and also drew a few long bows - especially the material regarding deaths etc.

I am not sure I can review it from the perspective of "Joe Citizen" - but I suspect it would not have had the impact I would have liked. We all know there are some problems in the e-health domain that need to be fixed. We also know the bureaucracy could have managed things better - how much better hard to say - but my view is we are somewhat stuck at present.

Even if a small conversation starts in the wider community it would be a good thing IMVHO.

There is a very simple message: Health IT can help improve patient safety and quality of care so there should be a reasonable level of investment in it. Right now there isn't and so there is unnecessary suffering.




There has also (before and since) been some discussion on the lists and I feel there was a general feeling that this was a bit of an “opportunity lost”.

Anyone interested in the e-health sector needs to have seen this program, maybe to explain to friends and colleagues what is really needed. – hence my posting about it as soon after broadcast as possible.



Anonymous said...

“Health IT can help improve patient safety and quality of care so there should be a reasonable level of investment in it.” Correct statement. Fully supported.

“Right now there isn't and so there is unnecessary suffering.” Hey, ………….. hang on a minute …………… …. it is a very long and emotive bow you draw.

The cost of developing good quality reliable health IT is enormous. Those monies redirected would ease far more unnecessary suffering than could be eased by pouring it into health IT. That isn’t to say money should not be directed to health IT to improve the health system and service delivery - it should. It’s just that to suggest that health IT (or the failure thereof) is the cause of unnecessary suffering demonstrates a very narrow view of what is the fundamental cause of ‘unnecessary suffering’. Dare I suggest WAR and GREED!

Dr David G More MB PhD said...

Sorry - you are wrong. Decent health IT can stop many medical errors that cause lots of suffering - by definition something that is preventable is unnecessary.

Right now there is underinvestment in Australia in Health IT compared with the rest of the world. I don't want the whole health budget - just enough to do those things we know work.


surturz said...

Seen this? Microsoft unveils HealthVault electronic health record

Anonymous said...

“Health IT can help improve patient safety and quality of care so there should be a reasonable level of investment in it.” That statement alone sums up for me the underlying problem with every eHealth or Health IT investment to date. It is vague and non-specific.
Which patient, when and exactly how is missing. Without these any subsequent investment is also vague, uncoordinated and prone to being wasted. Sound familiar?
Wish me luck as I attempt to influence my employer into taking a specific health outcome focussed approach where IT is just one component...

Anonymous said...

Any chance Microsoft's Health Vault will help NEHTA deliver something useful?