TECHNOLOGY: Two quickies

While you get your teeth into the long post about Canada that I put up late yesterday, here are two interesting follow-ups to technology issues already tangentially discussed in THCB.

1) Patient-Physician email–Here’ s a thoughtful article about the overall issue from the Seattle Times. It dovetails with the Oregon article I posted about on Monday, and makes the obvious point that even if email enhances productivity, in a fee-for-service environment it’s unlikely to be adopted unless it has payment for the doctors attached.  The docs at Group Health in Seattle don’t get paid that way, so they see the issue as how best to use their time rather than how best to maximize their billings.

2) VOIP (voice over Internet)–The extremely careful reader of the iHealthbeat column on synchronization I referenced last week would have noticed a bullet point about Vocera’s attempts to use health care as a testing ground for its voice over Wi-Fi product, which intends to replace paging and phones within hospitals. Well it looks like someone at the San Jose Merc was reading, or had been bugged by Vocera’s PR firm.  Their comprehensive story about the installation at El Camino hospital is well worth a glance.

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