Back to the Twilight Zone: Healthcare Surrealism

By Blog, Health Tech

One of the most fabled television shows of all-time, The Twilight Zone, debuted in 1959.

Although many of the storylines were rooted in science fiction, the show had a knack for reflecting cultural perceptions and tackling surreal issues of the era. There were even many parallels to modern day societal and political debates.

If only creator Rod Serling was around some sixty years later to parody the complex state of healthcare in America. He might have struggled to find the words to describe this alternate reality.

Astronomical bills, a confounding lack of communication between all facets of the industry, and misdiagnoses of patients, are just some of the most flagrant dilemmas. Technology, which was supposed to streamline protocols, easily store patient information, and keep the “ship” running smoothly, has had an unexpectedly polarizing effect.

To solve the challenges we face today, we must make a Twilight Zone-esq move and travel back in time to examine the past decisions that got us here..

2000

As EHRs like Epic begin to take their modern form and the company scales into a healthcare powerhouse, much attention is paid to the future of a paperless hospital. However, a slow adoption curve creates disparities, and new technology is created by the technologists, and not the end users (medical professionals).

2004

Government intervention in healthcare technology begins as the Bush Administration – for better or worse – signs an executive order creating the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. According to the University of Scranton, a nationwide push for EHRs at every hospital by 2014 was underway.

During this period, executives at major health systems begin to adopt technology without thinking about potential problems with deployment. This critical mistake will leave thousands of doctors and clinical professionals in the dark. No system-wide guidelines are established, and rudimentary technology grows like an unpredictable weed at provider locations around the country.

Today

The “National” HIE has failed. Many of the local and subregional exchanges have as well, the ACA is putting pressure on already strained organizations and Health Systems are doubling down on using their investments in the monolithic EHR vendors for delivery of care. The divide between the business of healthcare and the delivery of healthcare has never been higher.

Without the input, or consent, of end users, technology products have become burdensome time evaporators, causing the entire system to become costly and inefficient.

It’s time for technology to be built for the clinician, so they can focus less on administrative tasks and more on delivering the highest standard of care.

At TrekIT Health, We’ve made it our mission to solve the absurdities of healthcare, such as causing skilled clinicians to burnout because of inefficient technology. We’ve learned from our past experiences and we’re ready to move healthcare out of The Twilight Zone.