Question: What do ransomware, malware, the lack of medical record interoperability, power outages, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes have in common?
Answer: They make it impossible for doctors to access their patients’ electronic medical records — which can have disastrous and costly consequences for individual patients, families and our society as a whole.
The irony is that this is an unintended consequence of one of the most successful, albeit forced, programs to quickly move an entire industry from paper records into the modern age of electronic records. The theory was that when all providers keep electronic records and they are linked together via electronic networks, patient records will be instantly available anytime, anywhere patients require care. Regrettably, it’s not that simple.
I’m tired of profit-bashing and business-bashing in healthcare. And every American should be, too!
Well-run, profitable businesses, along with our sense of decency, democratic institutions, education and free enterprise systems, and adherence to the rule of law, have made the United States the most extraordinary nation in recorded history. Together they have unleashed the talents, creativity and productivity of our people, generated enormous sums of capital, and created unheard of social, economic, scientific and political advances.
Is there anything nobler than providing the environment and opportunity for people to fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams, and for providing the goods and services that enable people to raise their standard of living? Not even the practice of medicine can do so much good for so many people. But that’s precisely what businesses do. (That also may explain why far more Americans today are interested in job creation than restructuring healthcare.)
In our system, an individual has an idea, attracts capital, and hires people to build a product or provide a service. When they meet a need, they prosper – and attract more capital and hire more people. Everybody wins. If they fail, they alone suffer the consequences. That’s what capitalism is all about and that’s what has made America great.