Thursday, April 19, 2012
According to this article, there is a sea change underway in healthcare. Information technology is finally permeating the industry and computers are being used to optimize patient care. In so doing, the health insurance industry may go away. If so, it won't happen quickly or cheaply, and it will depend on every layer of medicine adopting to screens rather than paper charts. Behavioral modification will be prolonged and arduous and will require PR in the trenches for years to come. I've written before of the need for information technology to standardize patient treatment, but over years of waiting, it has become apparent that everyone from doctors through insurers has been waiting for "the other guy" to spend the money need to automate. Moreover, numerous articles on related how doctors reject any tool that requires them to change greatly how they deliver service. The problem has been nearly intractable and requires slow chipping year after year to make headway. But like anti-smoking campaigns, there is a tipping point, and experts are saying that healthcare has finally reached it. We'll see over the next couple of years whether that is correct but it cannot come too soon.