Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A few not so random thoughts on Healthcare IT

A few thoughts for a Wednesday morning:

  • I had recently written on some (probably) minor issues about CCHIT, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. However, I have more substantive concerns. I would like to know how CCHIT functions differently from a fictional "Drug Certification Commission." Imagine such a Commission founded by PhRMA and other pharmaceutical industry advocates, partly staffed at high levels by pharmaceutical executives, and "certifying" drugs for consumer purchase simply on the basis of their being manufactured under cGMP guidelines (current good manufacturing processes). Imagine this Commission declaring drugs "certified" without clinical trials, impartial regulatory oversight, postmarketing surveillance and in the face of equivocal studies and outright unfavorable studies showing increased risk of adverse events. How is CCHIT conceptually and substantively different from this fictional drug certification commission?
  • I would also like to know how the irrational exuberance over Health IT, vastly accelerated for reasons unclear to me by the "Economic Stimulus Bill", differs from the Madoff scandal. The "Bernard Madoff" version of HIT reality promotes the point of view that even in the face of flimsy and/or contradictory evidence, billions of dollars in investment in today's HIT is guaranteed to reap massive rewards, no matter what. Worse than Madoff's scam, those clinicians who don't invest will be penalized. In effect, the government has now taken over Madoff's Acme Anvil EMR Securities, Inc. and is forcing everyone to invest - or else.

-- SS

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