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All Things HIT

Jun 13 2011   3:06PM GMT

A woven HIT story

Posted by: AllinHIT
EHR, EMR, Health information exchange, HIE, PHR, Physician adoption

I have been truly amazed at life’s recent events.  I was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the New England town recently on national news for getting one of the worst tornado’s in Massachusetts’ history.  This uncommon event that happened in my hometown, in Joplin, Missouri, and elsewhere in the south, have recently reinforced to me the need for EHRs, PHRs, and the need for disaster recovery systems.  However, when it comes to adoption of those systems, I can’t help but be reminded about a recent biography on television, Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is the one of the most accomplished autistic adults in the US.  Known as the “women who thinks like a cow”, she has redefined the process of moving cows throughout the slaughtering process. Before having this impact though, slaughterhouses and ranches ridiculed her ideas and balked at their expense, with the “cattlemen” having trouble switching from the old process to the new.  Then the new process eventually gave them a path to efficiency, reduced cost due to errors and stoppages, and created a more humane process.  The humanity and efficiency was created by moving and “dipping” the cows in a steady, calm manner, lowering incidents of loss limbs and having zero stoppages.  The cows’ path to our table is now based upon on animal science researched by Ms. Grandin, and the positive results are crystal clear!

After watching this HBO movie, I thought about the efficiencies possible with the adoption of PHRs, EHRs, HIEs, ACOs, and the like.  I thought about how we must move the physician to EHRs in a steady manner, reducing their work stoppages, while helping them adapt to the new process.  Just like the “cattlemen”, physicians must be open to change.  Adoption balking should be replaced by exuberance,  curiosity, and the desire to improve processes and outcomes.  Lastly, all must recognize that the adoption of health IT is truly the most humane process, giving physicians the information to improve outcomes and expand the continuum of care, which is something we all deserve. 

So, I want to say “thank you,” Temple Grandin — your story has inspired me to continue preaching the use of health IT for improving processes, increasing efficiencies, and last by not least, in saving lives and improving outcomes.

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