I read a lot. I read a lot of healthcare-tech stories, since what will save healthcare in the US (and everywhere else) is technology that eases and facilitates communication between clinicians and patients, clinicians and clinicians, and patients and patients.
A virtuous cycle of open communication, where individual patient data is secure from viewing by anyone who isn’t the patient or a clinician directly involved in the care of that patient. Where payers have to get permission to see patient health and treatment data that they’re not actually paying for.
One of the outlets I read pretty consistently is Fierce Healthcare and Fierce Health IT. The FierceMarkets media network has a pretty deep bench on a variety of topics, and I personally trust media outlets who are transparent about what they do, why they do it, and who’s doing it for them. As opposed to, say, anything that Rupert Murdoch has a hand in.
Who knew that patient satisfaction was linked to a smooth billing process? Actually, I’m betting that most patients know this. The people who still don’t really understand this are payers and many hospitals. There’s hope, though, as long as they actually pay attention to survey results like this.
Who knew that working long hours led to a greater incidence of medical errors? Talk about breaking news! Not. Anyone who’s ever pulled an all-nighter knows that your IQ falls in direct proportion to the number of hours you’ve been awake. Most of us stopped pulling all-nighters once we were out of college. For doctors and other medical professionals, not recognizing that they become dumber than a bag of hair once they’ve been on the clock for more than 12 hours is the biggest mistake they can make. And the hospital schedules that require them to work these kind of shifts? Dumber than a bag of hair as well.
Who knew that making patients sign gag orders was a bad idea? The Medical Justice League .. um .. Medical Justice *Services* provided doctors and hospitals with blanket gag orders that they were to require patients to sign, saying that they wouldn’t make any negative comments online about the practice/hospital/whatever. I’m all for full-disclosure, in both directions, when it comes to healthcare services. Or any other services, for that matter. However, requiring what’s essentially a surrender of one’s 1st Amendment rights is … crazy? Dumb? Actionable? All of the above, I think.
What did YOU discover in the “who knew?” healthcare category this year? Comments are open – let ‘er rip!