Actual Practice Management Will Require New Thinking

Photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

Twenty-five years ago, patient records and hospital management systems were almost all paper-based, and filing cabinets filled entire rooms and basements. The healthcare system was ready for a digital overhaul.

Fast-forward to the present, healthcare management systems are software-based, and patient records have been digitized. It’s a significant improvement over stacks of paperwork piling up in every corner, but unfortunately, there’s still a lot of work to be done. We’re still a long way from having a healthcare system that is connected, efficient, and able to add value for all doctors, administrators, and patients.

Too many electronic medical record systems fail to be truly interoperable, which means they are not accessible enough to doctors who work in different facilities. When a patient goes from a hospital to a clinic — or when a patient is traveling and must seek medical care from another provider far from home — that patient’s record is not always easy to share from one physician to another.

Another problem with electronic health records is that the patient does not fully control them.

When it comes to the new digital systems used to manage health networks and hospitals, these also fail to live up to their full potential. Too often, healthcare facilities rely on software alone to bring efficiency to their organizations. But healthcare delivery is far too complex to be handled by software alone.

Doctors, administrators, and patients are still dissatisfied with the healthcare system, and technology is a part of the problem.

There are hundreds of companies with software to manage operations in healthcare or make patient records easier to share, and after a while, their elevator pitches all sound the same. Hundreds of companies want to deliver essentially the same thing to the same people at the same time.

It won’t be a surprise if investors in the healthcare IT space begin tuning it all out. Some companies they have funded have gone under because the whole sector has become crowded and noisy.

And through it, doctors, patients, and administrators are still frustrated. It’s time to think differently.

We need technology that puts the patient in control of their healthcare. That is the way we will arrive at a system that will work better for everyone.

Many people in the U.S. prefer to see a physician in independent practice because they want the personal touch that the larger health systems do not offer. Software-based practice management systems are only built for more extensive health systems, leaving out many doctors and patients.

There are dozens or hundreds of competing software systems on the market, but too few are designed with the actual users — patients and doctors — at the center of the equation.

In the 90s, when the race to build personal computers and software was heating up, companies like Microsoft and Google pulled to the front by designing intuitive and easy-to-use products for the consumer.

We are still waiting for that moment to arrive in healthcare.

We will know it has arrived when we see health records controlled by the patient and management systems that include the independent physician.

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“Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

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Dr. Adam Tabriz

Dr. Adam Tabriz

“Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

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