Headlines We Expect To See In 2017

Every year, around this time, we are inundated with healthcare industry predictions. Most of these seem to be more retrospective than forward thinking – taking what seem to be fairly obvious trends and simply saying “Finally, this year will be the year that [fill in the blank] happens!”  Well, here are my predicted headlines for 2017.

  • Healthcare Organization Wakes Up In Strange Place, Reports Massive Headache

A Healthcare Organization reportedly just woke up this morning in a stranger’s apartment, with a massive hangover. Note on pillow says, “Thanks for a great night, big spender. I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. Had to go run a few API errands, but feel free to stay as long as you’d like. Oh, it looked like you may have overdone it – aspirin in the bathroom. Love, EMR xxoo. ”

  • Healthcare Interoperability Finally A Reality

Today Epic announced that it had finally penetrated 100 percent of the healthcare market and therefore interoperability was no longer an issue. The final CIO holdout was quoted saying, “We decided that we could no longer resist the movement. We give up.”

  • Foolproof Security Strategy Unveiled: Don’t Click on $h!t

After years of investment and study, one Chief Information Security Officer seems to have found the cure to all information security problems plaguing hospitals. “After careful observation, we noticed a common pattern among our users: they click on links sent to them in email. Once we told them to stop clicking on them. As a result, we noticed our ransomware problem begin to clear up. Sure, our employees don’t get to find out if they’ve won a vacation package, or if they can help out a Nigerian princess, but we are safer.”

  • Affordable Care Act Files for Divorce, Claims Infidelity

Today, ACA (better known to her friends as Obamacare), filed for divorce from the U.S. healthcare system, claiming marital infidelity. ACA was overheard yelling, “I thought you wanted me. You told me that I was beautiful, that we were perfect for each other, that you were committed. But, then I find you in bed with a new Congress. What am I supposed to think? We had plans!” Healthcare system, when asked to comment, said, “We just moved too fast. It turns out I wasn’t ready. It turns out that I still like to mess around with Fee for Service. I am not ready to make a value based commitment.” What is unclear at this point is who will get custody of the covered lives and how they’ll divide up the physicians.

  • Family Physician Found Dead in Pool of Alphabet Soup

Yesterday, Dr. Smith reportedly drowned in a large pool of alphabet soup. His practice manager stated, “There were just too many letters floating around. It was so confusing. Dr. Smith said he felt like he was wasn’t able to keep his head above it all. We tried to throw him new payment plans, but those only pulled him further under. We knew we were running out of time, and that the consultants were on their way, but he just couldn’t keep treading water.”

  • Consumer-Driven Healthcare Recalled, Engagement Engine Too Weak

In breaking news, there has been a massive recall of consumer-driven healthcare. “We’d start it up and it would sound great, but as soon as we’d tried to put it in gear it’d stall,” said one hospital administrator. Said one patient, “I thought I would get to drive, but it turns out that there is no steering wheel. I only get to play with the radio. It looked good on the lot, but it really is a lemon.”

  • Orthopedic Units Claim They Have No Legs To Stand On

Early this year, 800 hospitals seem to have come down with the rare CJR virus. This rapidly moving disease hits hips and knees hard and lasts for 90 days. Said one orthopedist, “We just have no way to control it. It seems too highly-variable. Some get to go home and stay home for the full recovery, but too many are getting discharged to skilled nursing facilities or finding themselves back in the hospital.” Sources report that there are new strains emerging that seem to affect the heart and other systems.

  • Roto-Rooter Finds Big Data Clogging Local Hospital Systems

After months of mystery, it seems that that there is a massive Big Data clog affecting the local hospital. Common spreadsheets were not able to clear up the issue, and even a SQL snake was ineffective at cutting through. “We finally had to call the pros. We accumulated all this data and were not sure what to do with it. It kept building up. All our standard tools were not working and panic set in. We knew we needed to identify patient cohorts for risk management soon, but were really struggling to clear the clog,” said Roto-Rooter. “Yes, we have seen this a lot lately as hospitals slowly begin to gather data, thinking their systems can handle it. But before they know it, it’s coming out too fast and with too much volume. We get called, come in with MatLab and other tools and are soon able to clear out the mess. For the future, we recommend installing some new storage and getting some data science skills in house to prevent this from happening again.”

William Reid is the SVP and CISO of SCI Solutions. He’ll be back soon with a more serious take on the issues underlying these Fake News stories.

2 replies »

  1. ACOs, large systems, large practices, and health insurers all took losses this year, there were no more cherries remaining to pick (or Washington chopped down the cherry tree).

    Correction – Family Medicine drowned in alphabet soup, not just Dr. Smith. The water, soup, and sewage rose too fast. Some say the innovators, brokers, rearrangers, practice consultants, and associations pushed them under

  2. “Meanwhile back at the corral….” For a long time, we have REALLY not had an accurate assessment of our nation’s maternal mortality rate (aka, ratio). The CDC stopped releasing state by state data in 2007 since there was no uniformity underlying their reporting definitions. Finally, a September 2016 report made a serious effort to make sense of it. Bottom line, its worse than expected, and we have led our selves into a profoundly sad state of NATIONAL denial. If you really want to know a lot more about maternal mortality, see AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA report placed on-line in 2010. It is grim reading. Then see the recent analysis of MacDorman et al, Recent Increases in the U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate, Obstet Gynecol 2016;128:1-10
    Its “CONCLUSION: Despite the United Nation Millennium Development Goal of a 75% reduction of maternal mortality by 2015, the estimated maternal mortality rate for the 48 states and Washington, DC, increased from 2000 to 2014; the international trend was in the opposite direction. There is a need to redouble the efforts to prevent deaths and improve maternity care for the 4 million U.S. women giving birth each year.”
    In our deepest yearnings, we all know that universal health insurance and nationally linked EHRs will not solve this problem. They will be a contributing factor for the long-term solution. But in the meantime, we need a means to harness and augment the ‘social capital’ of each community to improve the resiliency of their own community’s ‘common good.’ This investment to augment the ‘social capital’ of each community should especially apply to infants, the disabled, the homeless and ALL women during a pregnancy. The heritage of our nation is clear. Remember now the Mayflower voyage, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. For each era, collective action at its best.