A New Year’s Wish for 2013
As 2012 draws to a close and we reflect on progress to date in the healthcare IT domain, my greatest hope is that 2013 is the year that hospital IT executives and physicians can link arms and become effective collaborators. The propagation of physician-facing applications – CPOE, medication reconciliation, and all manner of EHRs – in recent years (accelerated by Meaningful Use) has had the unfortunate effect of pitting physicians against IT. That’s because all too often these applications have not provided the optimal user experience (or even a workable user interface) for physicians. In many cases, deploying these applications reduces physician productivity. There’s no other industry in the world that would accept reduced productivity as an outcome of automation. Hospital IT leaders realize this is an untenable situation; the question is what to do about it. I hope and expect physicians and IT professionals together will begin to identify and implement solutions that initiate a virtuous cycle of increased productivity, cooperation, and ultimately improvements in delivery of patient care.