Wednesday, March 06, 2013

On EHR's: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Part 1

This is the first of a series of posts I plan on the issue of "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" regarding EHR's.  Frequent reminders are needed by all stakeholders, I believe, to think critically about, and take with a big grain of salt, effusive praise by key opinion leaders, politicians, etc. about health IT, and accompanying attempts to deride those critical of the technology, to counterbalance ongoing HIT hyperenthusiasm (e.g., link).

In face of growing evidence of risk and adverse outcomes of bad health IT from multiple sources and organizations (such as this, as just one example), growing advice on risk remediation from government (such as here), and mass privacy violations (see the multiple posts under this query link), it might also be entitled a series on what health IT hyper-enthusiasts "knew, should have known, or should have made it their business to know."

Let's start out with an extract from a post I wrote on June 29, 2003 entitled "Mark Leavitt, Head of CCHIT: Behind the Times and Uninformed on Health IT Realities?". At the time Leavitt was head of CCHIT, a tester and MU compliance/safety certifier of electronic health records systems: 

... The head of CCHIT, Mark Leavitt, has penned the following at iHealthBeat: 

June 19, 2009 - Perspectives 

Health IT Under ARRA: It's Not the Money, It's the Message

by Mark Leavit  

... Before ARRA, most surveys concluded that cost was the No. 1 barrier to EHR adoption. But as soon as it appeared that the cost barrier might finally be overcome, individuals with a deeper-seated "anti-EHR" bent emerged. Their numbers are small, but their shocking claims -- that EHRs kill people, that massive privacy violations are taking place, that shady conspiracies are operating -- make stimulating copy for the media. Those experienced with EHRs might laugh these stories off, but risk-averse newcomers to health IT, both health care providers and policymakers are easily affected by fear mongering.

"Laugh these stories off?"  That was, and is, simply perverse.

Ironically, this statement was written less than a year before my own mother was seriously and fatally harmed as a result of a health IT-related error.

On EHR's:  See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

While I don't proffer claims of "shady conspiracies" (international health IT expert Dr. Richard Cook explains that in a recent guest post "Dr. Richard Cook on the Health IT Sector's Ills"), I do proffer alternate explanations including arrogance, Radical Solutionism, and this.

More to come in this series.

There are many more statements like this one already on this blog, and elsewhere.

-- SS

Note:  Part 2 is here.


Anonymous said...

Leavitt was them ultimate legitamizer for HIT, working for the company spawned by HIMSS to provide a certification of features and the illusion that HIT was safe. Congress took the bait.

Kel said...

I like how you presented your information EHR's.

On the side note though I like the title saying "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" reminds me so of an ep in criminal minds.

Will looking forward for more of your information posts. Thanks!