BLOGS/TECH:Sacred Cow Dung and physicians and technology

Chris Mayaud is one of the more amusing entrepreneurial doctors it’s been my pleasure to go drinking with and have on the odd panel (Also the only one ever to use an almost appropriate 4 letter word and get away with it!). He also was a founder at Physicians’ Online and these days appears to be the most connected person in the world on Linkedin as well as being some type of venture capitalist (although I’m still waiting for the check!).  And of course he’s got a blog, called Sacred Cow Dung — pretty interesting stuff mostly about the VC world, and you can usually get him to buy you a beer if you’re visiting New York.

Here’s a interesting post he put up a few weeks back on why it’s not doctors’ fault that they don’t use IT — Sacred Cow Dung: MYTH: Physicians are Resistant to New Technologies.

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  1. //provide incentives to offset the cost of implementing such systems, physicians will continue to resist purchasing.//
    How can patients (those who receive the benefit) provide incentives if they are mere subscribers to a plan? They have to use whatever the plan provides.
    I vote for a non-funded mandate based on public health and safety. It’s not dipping into physician pockets if they are going to buy health care technology anyway: it’s just an order to chose the one that improves the lives for patients.

  2. Something that many healthcare IT vendors forget is that IT alone – or their product – won’t change outcomes. Demonstrating ROI requires leadership, process change management, training, and the tools to make it happen (IT).
    EHR systems require fundamental process changes in the way that care is delivered… and without these changes…and the leadership needed to drive them, the benefits of a digitization (the reasons to buy the product) will not materialize.
    As long as independent physician offices continue to be the primary care delivery mechanism in this country, the primary means of changing the way that care is delivered – the quality, safety, cost, and consistency – depends on independent physician practices changing the way that they deliver care. In other words, the hard work falls on physicians.
    Physicians demand systems that help them make more money and get home sooner (i.e. make their lives easier). The trouble is that while systems that duplicate and optimize existing, flawed care delivery processes might make physicians more money and give them more free time (what they value), these systems won’t contribute to the overall need for improvement in the healthcare system.
    Until those who do receive benefit for quality, safety, etc (i.e. payers and purchasers)provide incentives to offset the cost of implementing such systems, physicians will continue to resist purchasing.