Sunday, February 19, 2012

Health IT Ddulites and Disregard for the Rights of Others

At my Feb. 8, 2012 post "Health IT: Ddulites and Irrational Exuberance " I defined a "Ddulite" (Luddite with the first four characters reversed) as the opposite of a Luddite, specifically:

Hyper-enthusiastic technophiles who either deliberately ignore or are blinded to technology's downsides, ethical issues, and repeated local and mass failures.

An astute reader points out that "opposite" may be an incomplete description, as the Luddites:

"were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. The movement was named after General Ned Ludd or King Ludd, a mythical figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest."

In other words, they were merely trying to save their jobs, and their actions did not cause life-threatening adverse events, such as death by freezing due to lack of warm garments.

Ddulites, on the other hand, ignore the downsides (patient harms) of health IT.

This is despite being already aware of, or informed of patient harms, even by reputable sources such as FDA (Internal FDA memo on H-IT risks), The Joint Commission (Sentinel Events Alert on health IT), the NHS (Examples of potential harm presented by health software - Annex A starting at p. 38), and the ECRI Institute (Top ten healthcare technology risks), to name just a few.

In fact, the hyper-enthusiastic health IT technophiles will go out of their way to incorrectly dismiss risk management-valuable case reports as "anecdotes" not worthy of consideration (see "Anecdotes and medicine" essay at this link).

They will also make unsubstantiated, often hysterical-sounding claims that health IT systems are necessary to, or simply will "transform" (into what, exactly, is usually left a mystery) or even "revolutionize" medicine (whatever that means).

This is despite the fact that many of this mindset are medical and/or Medical Informatics professionals who know better. They also ignore the draining waste of resources of failed or ineffectual IT ("bad health IT"), potentially depriving patients of the best healthcare possible.

Thus, as the reader pointed out, there could be an element of psychopathy or, at best, reckless disregard for rights of others in their thinking.

Reckless disregard: An act of proceeding to do something with a conscious awareness of danger, while ignoring any potential consequences of so doing. Reckless disregard, while not necessarily suggesting an intent to cause harm, is a harsher condition than ordinary negligence.

In my opinion, at a time of mass funding and pressure for rapid rollout of health IT in its present state of experimental development, this is not an observation that should be casually dismissed.

-- SS


Anonymous said...

What is there to understand, exactly?

Ddulites delight in ego, arrogance, Money, mOney, MONEY, MONey, monEY, Money, moneY, moNey, MOney, politician$, and a$$ociate degreed monkey$ and is a significant part of the explanation for the observed phenomena.

Live it or live with IT said...

Well it is a classic case of Conflict of Interest as is often described on HCRenewal. Letting the fox watch the henhouse always results in trouble.

Mark said...

A small point, the links you have for ddulite were quoting the post that coined the term: