Episode 1: Special Guest Dr. Jayne of HISTALK, Health IT Needs Work, but is a Well of Opportunity
Tell Me Where IT Hurts, a new podcast hosted by Medicomp System’s chief medical officer Dr. Jay Anders, debuted this month with the anonymous blogger and urgent care physician, Dr. Jayne of HIStalk. Dr. Anders and Dr. Jayne share insights on a variety of topics, including the evolution of technology in healthcare and current health IT shortfalls.
Tell Me Where IT Hurts will cover a variety of topics including the evolution of health IT, usability of EHRs, physician burnout, artificial intelligence and more. Tune in to listen to the full first episode, which is available on SoundCloud, Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and more.
Here are some highlights and key takeaways from the first episode on Tell Me Where IT Hurts.
The evolution of health IT
The first whispers of technology in healthcare were considered very ‘cutting-edge’ and exciting. With the emergence of Meaningful Use and other policies, health IT became ubiquitous – and a bit less exhilarating.
Dr. Jayne believes that as the pandemic emerged in 2020, it uncovered a wealth of health IT opportunities and innovations.
Making EMRs a tool and not a task
EHRs have historically been a cause of much provider frustration. EHRs were originally focused on billing and coding functionality and little thought was given to the physician end-user.
EHRs clearly need improvements, including design changes that help rather than hinder clinicians caring for patients. Having used many different systems, Dr. Jayne and Dr. Anders agree that clinicians often lack adequate training and need regular engagement and a forum to voice their feedback – ideally before, and not just after, implementation.
COVID-19 has increased clinician burnout – but it was an issue well before the pandemic. One factor contributing to burnout is the misalignment of expectations due to competing forces, such as the mandatory use of burdensome systems, payer policies and requirements, stress and worry of negative patient outcomes, concern over legal malpractice lawsuits and more.
Dr. Jayne often talks with colleagues in other countries who do not have the same rate of clinician burnout – and who do not face the same competing forces that American clinicians do. What clinicians want more than anything is to focus on patient care, but many feel they don’t have the opportunity to do the ‘care’ part of healthcare.
Telehealth is unquestionably here to stay. It is important that we don’t allow the information from telehealth systems to live in silos but instead integrate the data and support its interoperability with other systems so that clinicians have the patient information they need.
Despite data-sharing concerns, Dr. Jayne believes telehealth offers many opportunities, such as matching patients with the best doctor for their specific needs and conditions, regardless of geographic location.
Pandemic impacts and vaccines
The past year has clearly shone a light on the many flaws of health data, including its inability to “flow” well between doctors, systems, states, and the federal government.
For example, as states roll out vaccinations under their own guise, it’s often difficult to track who got the shot, when, and where. Some health systems use sign-up sheets for the vaccine, but often an organization doesn’t know if a patient on their waitlist already received a vaccine through another health system.
If we can’t communicate something as simple as vaccination records, how can we expect problem lists and medication records to be accurately and completely shared?
AI and machine learning – talk vs. hype
NLP for dictation is an example of a technology that works better for some clinician types than others. For example, clinicians in high-stake, high-pressure specialties may need NLP to create verbatim notes that protect them from malpractice lawsuits. This technology also works well with specialties with more repetitive visits, e.g., a rheumatologist visit.
On the other hand, Dr. Jayne and Dr. Anders agree that many specialties don’t need to clutter their systems with information on “how the patient’s kids are doing.”
One Hope for the Future
At the end of their conversation, Dr. Anders asks Dr. Jayne her one hope and the one technology she feels is truly important to changing healthcare.
Listen to the complete episode for her answer.