I recently stumbled across a blog post by Dr. Jay Parkinson, an entrepreneur and founder of Sherpaa, who reflected on a recent private breakfast with New Yorker and best selling author Dr. Atul Gawande.

The question posed by Gawande: Can technology be a change agent for health care? The inevitable answer is yes, with one important caveat. It’s not the technology that will change the practice of medicine, it’s the doctors who ...

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A couple of weeks ago I took my car in for its regular servicing. I’ve always had excellent service at this dealership and have gotten used to some pretty high standards. But on this particular visit, I was about to receive a dose of new technology as well. After I pulled my car into the garage, I was immediately greeted by a welcoming and friendly customer service agent. She had ...

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As I look back all those years ago to when I chose medicine as a career, I suspect that my motives were similar to most people who enter this wonderful profession. I wanted to become a doctor because I had a genuine and sincere desire to help people. I also liked the idea of a busy and energetic job, one where I was comfortably as far away as possible from ...

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I am a primary care doctor who makes house calls in and around Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Most of my visits are in neighborhoods, but today my rounds start at a house located down a dirt road a few miles outside of town. Gingerly, I cross the front walk; Mrs. Edgars told me that she killed a rattlesnake in her flowerbed last year. She is at the door, expecting my visit. Mr. Edgars sits ...

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Watson and Siri: The David and Goliath in health care delivery In every strength lies a weakness and in every weakness a strength. This maxim has held true throughout history -- from biblical days to the battles of modern times. And it holds just as true in the information technology (IT) “arms race” that’s playing out in American health care today. In Malcolm Gladwell’s newest work David and Goliath, he suggests that when we fail to ...

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Consider this scenario. Your clunker is on its last legs, and it’s time to get a new car. Most likely, you’ll search product reviews to help you decide which make and model is best -- best according to people who’ve driven them and kicked the tires a bit, not based on company accolades. You’ll want to know what drivers think. Amazon.com does the same thing for books (and every other ...

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I was invited to attend a private breakfast with book author, surgeon, and New Yorker contributor Dr. Atul Gawande shortly before Dr. Gawande’s talk at The New Yorker Festival. Over breakfast, Dr. Gawande spoke with IBM executive Dr. Paul Grundy on the future of health care. The event was sponsored by IBM so there was plenty of talk about how technology can and will influence the practice of medicine -- ...

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A recent article by Elizabeth Hipp decried the so-called hidden costs of free EMR systems. As a physician who uses a free EHR, I chuckle at stories trying to drum up fear and uncertainty about these systems. Though free EHRs have become mainstream, there still seems to be a clever news angle in highlighting their supposed pitfalls. We live in a time when Google offers all of its services ...

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Trust: A firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Technology, technology, technology. It is all we hear. Ugh. Let’s change the focus from “technology” to the useful and meaningful processes that technology enables:
  • knowledge
  • sharing
  • communication
  • trust
Technology is only an enabler, much like the social graph. They are tools, they are platforms, and if properly utilized, they may enable “disruption” or transformation. It is the few individuals, and I do mean a few, ...

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A recent experience with my father-in-law reminded me of something that has concerned me for some time. While EMRs have some benefits for older adults, on balance I believe that they portend more dangers. There are multiple reasons, but the biggest is that health care providers tend to believe everything they read in an EMR. Even if what they read is wrong! A wise computer programmer once told me that “computer’s ...

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