On January 9, an very important report on the state of health care technology was released by the National Resource Council. Entitled "Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions, this report is the product of some of the finest minds in computer science and health care informatics. Dr. William Stead from Vanderbilt was the Chair of this report. The effort involved numerous site visits, interviews, and literature reviews. It is ground-breaking work.
Among the reports primary conclusions are (in this writer's words):
Much more will be written about this report, and it is only a start of a longer process. In addition, the report acknowledges up front that it does not address small practices, health care reimbursement and many other critical issues. But the take home point - let's focus on using the best we have available across various engineering and health disciplines and focus on the real health issues and not merely automate the myriad of transactions that are by-products of the way we think about these issues.
The report also provides principles for change. The first five principles are considered supportive of "evolutionary change" and the last four supportive of "radical change."
Here are some of the thoughts I had when reading this report.