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Obamacare - Improving Patient Care?

  1. Shil1978 profile image89
    Shil1978posted 4 years ago

    If you've seen your doctor spending more time typing into a PC than spend quality time with you -the patient - then here's why....

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/20 … records#p1

    I wonder how forcing hospitals and doctors to invest in things such as electronic health records is going to drive costs down? Of course, jobs are being killed off in the process - automation benefits the big companies peddling softwares that enable EHR, not the allied health workers like transcriptionists who have been typing health records.

    Seems now, the doctors would become the typists and type in what goes into your medical record! So, in effect, your doctor may be spending more time typing in stuff than examining and providing care. Amazing!!

    1. 0
      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Did you read the article that you linked?

      You might also want to read this article:

      http://www.time.com/time/health/article … 74,00.html

      1. Shil1978 profile image89
        Shil1978posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Chasuk, did you read the whole article? I don't overlook the potential benefits of transitioning to electronic health records, but the fact is that there is no standardized system in place with competing vendors promoting their own EHR systems to hospitals, thus making interoperability impossible. So, while within a hospital system, EHR may work fine if all the doctors and nurses are trained adequately and are comfortable with it (which is a ?) - one cannot say the same if a doctor sends in a patient to a sister or an outside hopistal that implements a different version of EHR.

        There are also problems relating to patient privacy.

        http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/op … FeB1iC5POI

        I am not sure I would want my health record accessible by all those who'd have access to it by being part of a national database. Shouldn't my health record be the concern of my doctor and any other doctors that are involved in my health care? Why should it be accessible to anyone in the vicinity of a computer screen?

        About the cost factor, would be interested in knowing your opinion about the effects it would have on small practioners as detailed in this report,

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen … e-doctors/

        To quote from it,

        "Doctors need to be a part of a larger group practice to afford large investments in electronic health record systems and other technology. "

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Interoperability is an issue, yes, but it is hardly a deal breaker. When EHR systems are incompatible, revert to the old method.  As far as doctors and nurses being adequately trained, EHR systems are not complicated. If you can leave a message on Facebook, you can use EHR software.

          The privacy of my medical records is not an issue for me, period. We live in a transparent society, and we have done for a long time, with no going back. Most people just don't know it yet.


          As for the Forbes articles from which you quoted, here is another quote from the same article:

          "Nobody wants a solo practicing doctor and nobody in the physician workforce wants to be one."

          This paradigm shift was coming long before ObamaCare.

          1. Shil1978 profile image89
            Shil1978posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Chasuk, if EHR systems were that easy, then you wouldn't have doctors pointing out the problems they face with it, in the article to which I posted the link before. You have to understand that EHR is very much a technology in evolution, not a fully developed technology. That's the reason why in the original article, a dermatologist using EHR stated frustration with having to have custom patches costing $10,000 just to be able to have interoperability with a fellow doctor just down the hall from her.

            The other issue is that doctors have to spend more time typing in the history of the patients they see. Now, doctors aren't typists and I don't think they were trained to do it. The people who were trained to do it and who have been doing it so far have been medical transcriptionists. You can look them up on Google - this whole profession that assists doctors by putting into paper what the doctor dictates is potentially going to be wiped out - that's hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake.

            The job loss apart, when doctors are spending more time typing in patient histories, where do they draw that extra time from? Unless they are shortening the time they spend with patients, I don't see how they would be able to take time to personally type in all that data - and its a lot of data if you consider the amount of patients a doctor sees. Essentially, you are asking a doctor to be a damn good typist in addition to his already exacting job of being a specialized doctor.

            Chasuk, while for you, your medical history being in the public domain may not be an issue - there are a lot of others ( me included ) for whom it is an issue. There are many illnesses ( as pointed out in the article I quoted ) which you don't want others to know. It should be just your personal business - known only to the docs attending to your care.

            With EHR, you have multiple points where your health record would be exposed to numerous individuals, within the hospital itself as well as outside where the data would be required to be stored - the Govt. included.

            1. SimeyC profile image86
              SimeyCposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Like any new system it's going to take time for people to learn it and use it. The initial crunch means that a lot of data will have to be input into systems; this will be time consuming and will intially detract from health care.

              However there are many benefits:
              -From my own experience, I'm so frustrated that every time I go to a different specialist, doctor, dentist, eye doctor, foot doctor etc. I fill out the same form and provide the same information. Not only does this take my time up, but it also has an administrative cost that when compounded over all patients is a lot of money - by simply 'sharing' this information you will reduce a lot of administration and therefore reduce pass-through costs.
              -Secondly, by sharing information doctor's can check to see what other medication you may be on and be able to safely prescribe drugs for you.
              -Finally, and this is perhaps the biggest thing, with data mining techniques scientist can identify trends in healthcare, they can see patterns - perhaps people with high blood pressure seem to benefit more with one drug rather than another - the data they have now is very fragmented and it's very very difficult to mine the data so that overall healthcare improves.

              There are obviously huge Personal Identifiable Information problems, but if done right and the rights of the individual are protected then there are not only huge cost savings, but there's a huge potential to be able to save lives based on data mining.

              I understand the concerns and they are valid ones and it is going to take several years to get it right, but it's something that has to be done.

    2. SportsBetter profile image63
      SportsBetterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      New technology has lowered costs in many different fields, medical costs isn't one of them.  Medical costs are high because the government inflated by printing money to pay for Medicare and Medicaid.  Before government was involved in these programs cost was low and everyone was taken care of. 
      Obama Care will be a nightmare. just wait. Anything the government does is never efficient and usually costs a lot more then the free market could do.  Healthcare isn't expensive because of corporate america.  It is expensive because government participating in medical care 40 years ago.

  2. Randall Pruitt profile image61
    Randall Pruittposted 4 years ago

    My reply is the president can shove his healthcare plan. I work in healthcare and all I have seen is practices being closed because of this great idea. We don't need 4 more yrs of this! Wake up America.

    1. 0
      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      So, you have been a Certified Medical Assistant for 2 years, and have miraculously already witnessed "practices being closed" because of ObamaCare, which is only now being implemented.

      Sorry, but your very premature observations have little worth.

  3. mperrottet profile image94
    mperrottetposted 4 years ago

    I just researched and wrote about the high cost of medical care in the U.S.A, and one of the big factors was administrative costs.  The United States has 25 percent more healthcare administrators than the United Kingdom, 165 percent more than the Netherlands, and 215 percent more than Germany.  So much of this is caused by the lack of standardization in record keeping and billing.  Obamacare (ACA) is initiating requirements on health care plans in October to adopt standardized billing and begin implemening rules for the electronic exchange of health information.  This should drive costs down.