David Longstreet had this to say in response to Andre Blackman's post last week on the the increasing importance of technology in public health. ("Why Technology is No Longer Optional in Public Health."
"the biggest change in software technology is the growing trend of specialization along industry disciplines. The healthcare field is too complex for "generalist" software developers. Those software organizations that specialize in healthcare have productivity and quality rates orders of magnitude higher than generalist firms.
This should not surprise anyone in the healthcare discipline because healthcare has understood the value of specialization for some time now. Unfortunately there are still software firms whose employees work for a bank one week and a hospital the next week…."
Christopher George wrote in reply to Bob Wachter's piece on the implications of comparative effectiveness research. ("Are We Mature Enough to Make Use of Comparative Effectiveness Research?")
"Because the only case which you discuss is one in which supposedly greedy doctors perform ineffective surgery for profit, one might be left with the impression that the principal problem in healthcare is restraining rapacious doctors.
It is well known in certain segments of the medical community that back surgery, and cardiac angioplasty are largely ineffective. It is also well known that regulators with government sponsorship have a limited grasp of statistics and science, and an uncanny tendency to target effective procedures as often as stupid ones. Don't be surprised if you don't like the result once a soviet style Supreme Extra-ordinary Medical Committee makes enforcable decisions about what heathcare is on your treatment menu.
Remember an early target of those who would use government to eliminate medical progress: The CT scan. The assault on the Cat scanner was nearly successful. When you torture the data enough, a CT scanner can seem like a silly thing to use. Why not practice like they did at the dawn of time?"