shutterstock_112692424 The U.S. health care system is headed toward a profoundly digital future. Provider organizations around the country are adopting and updating their health information technology (HIT) infrastructures. Many have begun requiring that clinicians gain proficiency in electronic health records (EHRs) in order to provide clinical care. A proliferation of start-ups and HIT companies in health care is poised to disrupt (innovatively or ...

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shutterstock_211066027 Ask any frontline physician at the moment what one of their biggest daily frustrations is and you will probably hear a very similar thing whether you are talking to a primary care, emergency room, or hospital physician. The thing that most takes them away from patients and makes them forget the reasons why they went to medical school in the first place, ...

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An excerpt from The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age (McGraw-Hill, 2015). The YouTube video opens to show a balding middle-aged man sitting on a stool, strumming a guitar. In a gentle, twangy croon, the man, Robert Schwab, chief quality officer for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton, Texas, sings “The Ballad of Go-Live,” ...

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shutterstock_185580974 Natural language processing might seem a bit arcane and technical -- the type of thing that software engineers talk about deep into the night, but of limited usefulness for practicing docs and their patients. Yet software that can “read” physicians’ and nurses’ notes may prove to be one of the seminal breakthroughs in digital medicine. Exhibit A, from the world of medical ...

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shutterstock_65521543 The latest salvo in the interoperability and information-blocking debate comes from two academic experts in the field of informatics, and was recently published in JAMIA. In the brief article, Sittig and Wright are endeavoring to describe the prerequisites for classifying an EHR as “open” or interoperable. I believe the term “open” is a much better fit here, and if ...

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shutterstock_166402376 We are data druggies. We spend our days like desperate junkies crawling the carpet, sifting through the shaggy strands of patient histories with shaky fingers in search of facts. Every word our patients utter we feed to the never-ending demands of the electronic chart. We find a fact and we enter it. The database grows. Someone somewhere adds another question we are supposed to ...

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"Welcome back health care fans!  I'm Dr. Rob." "And I'm Dr. Rob's evil twin." "Good to see you again, Dr. Evil" "Nauseated, as always, to see you, Dr. Rob.  We've got a thrilling lineup in store for you tonight, as the Washington Senators take on the Mighty Docs in the third round of the meaningful use playoffs." "Don't you mean payoffs, evil twin?" "Hilarious, Dr. Dufus.  The meaningful use series did promise big payoffs and better care. But ...

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shutterstock_283174037 Seeking to provide balanced discourse and to recognize marginalized voices at the gooey center of health care, I kindly ask that you find a seat in the Captain’s Room of the Hilltop Motor Lodge for the inaugural meeting of Physicians for the Liberty of the Electronic Health Record, where founder and president Dr. IM Klickhffor starts the proceedings with this plenary ...

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shutterstock_161227907 Many people used to believe that Facebook was an extremely defensible business and that it would be almost impossible for another social network to compete. It has grown to an enormous scale with massive troves of data and more than 1.5 billion monthly users. The thinking around their defensibility was that because all of your friends and photos and updates are already stored on Facebook, it ...

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shutterstock_136966010 A lot of people complain about adolescents. They don’t listen. They act out. They talk like they have it all figured out. I disagree. As a pediatrician, this is my favorite group of patients. They have developed cognitively to be aware of the world’s complexities, and yet are still open to guidance as you help them navigate their way through. Adolescence ...

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