• Mike , stx is taking a very slim view of things, sure the VA has problems always has and probably always will.
     For the most part they have made progress, with some prodding.
     I went to , what was then TSTI in Waco,now TSTC, another go figure moment, anyway back then there where lots of Vietnam vets there, I heard all there horror storys about the VA. It is a lot better now.
     There is a lot of good to be acomplished by digital record keeping, no doubt about it. But I do not think it is going to be with no charge to the end users (us).
     I can almost  promise you that there will be a "fee" attached every time you visit a doctors office or hospital.
     Yes it will make it way better, but I beleive it is going to be seen as another way to make a little more $$$$ off of the patients and insurance companys.
     Kinda like the extra infrastructure tax that was added to every phone bill, yep made things better, but hey , ATT could charge for it , customers paid it, the state actualy did the work , and ATT just lol  with there free money.

    January 3, 2009 at 7:09 p.m.

  • Your reputation as a serial misinformed poster precedes you; a reason why so many posters correct your postings….You have to rely on personal stories (which cannot be verified) to sourced data.
    Your disdain for government won’t let you see the difference between an investigative report on electronic record keeping and a press release ,nor health care and record keeping..
    My blog was on the mistakes of the past and a step into the 21st century.
    1) Barack Obama will make electronic medical record keeping a part of the stimulus package.
    2)In researching electronic record keeping I found out the VA was one the first large organizations to go electronic….If LA County was; I would have included that….Nothing to do with Dana Priest’s story about Walter Reed and the conditions there, nor actual health care…JUST RECORD KEEPING.
    Now please let it go,because every time someone posts on my blog or writes me an email I get an alarm on my Blackberry;so you are becoming annoying....Same old stuff.
    Oh,never mind i will continue to ignore you.

    January 3, 2009 at 4:29 p.m.

  • And actually believe the press reports from the V.A. released to ABC news.  That is your one that has worked with the V.A. system, transferring patients, etc. and seen the horrors.....sorry I don't believe it.  They have gotten by with giving the worst healthcare in the world to our vets for decades and now that they have actually been called on the carpet I am sure things are getting a little better....maybe.....sorta.

    You can ignore personal testimony if you want to but that is really not smart.  Believe me I have a hundred stories that are worse than the having to retake the immunizations one. 

    A lemming following the government press releases into the sea....hope you can swim.

    January 3, 2009 at 3:55 p.m.

  • Government haters and ideology will not be barrier in moving to electronic health records.
    There is a reason I don’t rely on personal stories to back up a point. Too may variables, situations and exaggerations to sift through.
    Another cut & paste from ABC news with a link.
    ABC News brings us a thought provoking report (video here | text here ) on how the VA has moved from one of the worst health care programs in the country to being the best in the nation. I can sum it up in one phrase for you, electronic medical records. If you have the bandwidth I highly advise checking out the video linked above, if a picture is worth a thousand words then hundreds of them strung together as video should be worth millions.

    Here are a few quick nuggets of data drawn from the text version online at the ABC News website:

    January 3, 2009 at 12:19 p.m.

  • Mike, actually I agree with you on utilizing computers for medical data, and eventually, hopefully, there will be a system where physicians in one city will be able to pull up all the medical records on any individual...including physician office information, E.R. visits, hospitalization.  This will indeed be a boon to Medicine and will certainly prevent a tremendous number of mistakes and abuses. 

    Drug addicts will find it impossible to doctor and E.R. hop to get drugs.  When patients "forget" an important medication they are on, or are unconscious and can't provide information, or don't remember a critical allergy, the doctor will be able to have the information and prevent some horrible consequences.

    However PLEASE don't use the VA as an example.  Their system, computerized and otherwise lose more medical records than any facility known.  That is a fact.  The VA is the most inefficient example there is of medical care and medical record keeping.  A friend's son just recently had to receive shots before going overseas twice because of lost medical records and that happens on a routine basis.  I know you don't like to admit this Mike, but anything the government is involved in is cumbersome, costs too much, and is inefficient...a given...a fact.

    It will take the private sector to implement a system that works.

    January 3, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

  • Legion
    First we got to stop the bleeding before we will see any savings in the form of health care cost. As you know, the cost is skyrocketing with no end in sight.
    A” paperless” office is a goal, not a literal statement meaning paper records will be completely eliminated and in no circumstances; retained.
    This is a cut-and-paste from the Wisconsin Technology News
    What are the benefits of such a system? It boils down to quality, safety, speed and cost.

    Making patient records instantly available whenever and wherever they are needed and authorized.
    Ensuring that those records are always up to date.
    Avoiding costly duplicate tests and unnecessary hospitalizations. About 20 percent of all hospital lab tests are ordered because previous results cannot be found.
    Providing medical professionals with the best and latest treatment options.
    Helping eliminate medical errors, which some experts believe could be slashed by as much as 90 percent. According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 people in the United States die every year from medical errors.
    Creating opportunities to gather non-identifiable information about health outcomes for research to pinpoint the most effective treatments.
    Controlling costs, perhaps saving as much as $300 billion per year nationwide. That estimate comes from Dr. David Brailer, the national coordinator of health information technology, who says about 30 percent of current health care spending is inappropriate, redundant or unnecessary.
    Protecting patient privacy

    January 2, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

  • Yes, drug reps use tablet PCs now but that is to input the amount of samples they are leaving & get signatures.  That has nothing to do with a pts medical record.  Many Dr.s I know use laptops but they also rely heavily on the pts chart.  The VA is leading the way on the change to paperless.  My 2 VA homes are paperless & they experience problems every day.  The system goes down, hours til it comes back up, in emergency situations that is NOT a good thing.  It also poses a problem when the system goes down in the middle of their med more medication administration record.  Nurses are imputting the medication orders, mistakes are made, no hard copy to refer to.  If everyone wishes to go paperless, it is necessary to have some form of hard copy back up.  In nursing home settings, it would be very easy to keep a "mother book" with the pertinent info that is not kept elsewhere, like their MARs.  Other than that, aside from security issues, it's a good idea, just gotta work out the bugs before you jump in head first.  I still don't see how it will save that much $$.

    January 1, 2009 at 6:46 p.m.

  • So Mike,
     Did your doctor or hospital lower there fee or co-pay because your records where easier to access?
     I don't think they did, chances are they charged more for "IT availability" or some such fee they will call it.

    January 1, 2009 at 6:34 p.m.

  • Fascination? Am I really that transparent?
    Yes, let’s move to the 21st century. I am so happy my doctor uses a laptop to input my new info, looks at my recent labwork, and before asking me to try any new medication he is able to verify the drugs side effects and interaction with diabetes. He then sends my prescription to my pharmacy with a digitized signature and instructions. (No misreading bad handwriting)I imagine I still have a paper file but he never brings in all that mess. I have noticed that the pharmaceutical salespersons bring in their tablet PCs to update their supply, get their new order and leave in less than 5 minutes. No paper printout for the nurse or doctor/patient interruption.
    Those same old 20 year arguments of garbage in/garbage out is still valid today, but software enhancements prevent data input errors with alarms........ Data can be backed up on line or off site.
    Almost every piece of medical equipment has a USB cable attached to it for electronic record keeping, I have seen nurses use tablet PCs on routine hospital rounds.
    The big hang-up right now is privation of records. According to a LA Times report on average about 150 different people (Drs,clerks,nurses) have access to a patients record on a hospital stay. Internet access of all medical records would make that situation even worse, unless we come up safeguards that are not yet available. Costs, doctors reluctant to change, regulations, and the complexity of changing are other reasons we are not there.
    The VA is the ice breaker and the standard bearer for electronic recordkeeping. They seem to love it.

    January 1, 2009 at 6:13 p.m.

  • I don't understand your fascination with digitizing medical records.  Do you honestly think it costs that much to handle them in our current system?  I have several facilities that are "paperless" and believe me, computers are not flawless.  Computers are as reliable as the humans that are operating them.  One missed backup, any hard drive misshap & medical records are gone, possibly forever.  IMO, information that valuable & pertinant should always be stored in a hard copy form as well.   Every paperless medical facility needs to have a  "mother book"  just in case.

    January 1, 2009 at 2:57 p.m.

  • Happy New Year BigJ
    As I told Rollinstone,my intention was not to rehash the global warming argument but seeing the need of being the first to embrace Green energy.....I do not know enough about climatology but I do know the effects of dirty fuels...I already gave the China Olympics example...That air was polluted with CO2 and China has an alarming rate of respiratory diseases and cancer.
    I also gave small example how solar panels saved lives and money in Iraq.
    BTW Take no offense,but I have seen you grow in knowledge and temperment..Maybe the election had something to do with that..lo
    I am glad you disagree with me,it keeps me on my toes.

    December 31, 2008 at 1:05 p.m.

  • Mike...please, the red light cameras are a mute issue.  Most of the cities that have had them for any time are getting rid of them.  On the Houston news last night they reported accidents at intersections have increased two fold since the red light cameras have been used.  Then there is the city's legal liability related to such accidents caused by the camera, legal suits due to invasion of privacy (wife sees picture of husband with girlfriend in the car), the difficulty of prosecuting such cases....attorneys in California guarantee they can get you off or you don't pay them a thing and some have a 100% overturn rate.  Besides the city getting in bed with a company that is making money off the tickets resulting from the light is just not right and reeks of abuse of the system.

    As far as global goes without saying that everyone should do everything they can to improve and protect our environment.  Just giving up drinking bottled water alone would help tremendously.....Cruise ships should be banned since they have polluted our oceans and torn out coral reefs that have taken centuries for God to create.  People don't want to do these things though.  However, even with the Chinese and their horrible habits, man's effect on climate change are minimal.  Read the work of Willie Soon and his direct correlation of the warming trends and climate changes we are seeing with activity on the sun. 

    Sorry Mike, the climate changes are cyclic and something we can do little about.  Also last night on the news, there was a spot about some of the scientists who had supported Al Gore are now crawfishing and trying to figure out how to rationalize the errors in the data they provided, especially as it relates to current studies and statistics.  Some are fearful of losing their University jobs because they have been involved in Gore's Junk Science. 

    Listen to the President of Poland who has stood up and states the Global Warming Crisis has been created to encourage people to submit to the restraints of a World Government and give up freedoms based on fear.....he compares it to the march of Communism through Eastern Europe.

    Drive your Prius Mike...Good for you....I will keep my Navigator, but I will recycle and I will buy recycled goods, and I will use reusable bags at the grocery store.  The sky is not falling,  Global warming if a normal cyclic event which is in the process of being debunked.

    December 31, 2008 at 11:03 a.m.

  • Rollinstone
    You bring up some questions I don't really have any answers for.
    I know it would be expensive initially; the IT revolution was very expensive so was the moon shot but look at the benefits. Uncertainness is always more expensive.
    I don't think we can continue cutting down trees without disrupting photosynthesis.
    I think weaning ourselves from the dependence on foreign oil from the Middle East and Venezuela will help recoup some of the initial cost. The price of the sun and wind are fixed.
    Everyone knows that our electric grid is outdated and blackouts will be more prevalent as we continue to grow.
    Politics is always a two-way street…. Trent Lott and Ted Stevens were always a no vote for higher CAFÉ standards until Nissan America built their factories in their state. You see; Nissan America knew getting 35 mpg was a piece of cake. The Democratic lawmakers from Michigan can still be counted on their no votes.
    I've criticized Wal-Mart in the past but they are at the forefront by promoting energy efficient light bulbs and it met its 2005 goal of making its fleet of 7,200 18 wheelers 25% more fuel-efficient.

    Ideology: I despise T. Boone Pickens and his politics but I agree that he has a good idea of converting our heavy equipment and trucks to natural gas, because we have an abundance of this fuel and it is cheap but it is more harmful than CO2 if we leak it to the atmosphere and the handling is quite dangerous.
    Sure Mr. Boone is making a buck but so will our nation.
    I think going Green will lower our trade deficit by a huge margin.
    BTW Thanks for the insightful information on climate change;it was quite informative.As I 've have said many times I am not a climatologist nor will I ever pretend to be one....I listen and read all sides on this subject, but I have come to the conclusion that fossil fuel is a dirty fuel....I stand corrected ;the proper word is "climate change."
    I think if you look at recent polls, arms will not have to be twisted into going green.

    December 31, 2008 at 9:45 a.m.

  • "I'm really talking about going outside the dots, ideology, and plain stubbornness to make the environment friendlier for the Green innovators."
    By friendlier I assume you mean giving them more money, more subsidies, more political power.  We are going to get more green energy not because it's good economically or even for the environment, it isn't.  We are going to get it because it will be forced upon us.   People will be shocked when they see the cost of green energy. 

    December 31, 2008 at 8 a.m.

  • Excellent points legion….I am ashamed to admit I never thought of China trying to selling cheap solar panels (reconfigured) to us…..In fact Saudi Arabia is building solar plants on the side.
    Corn ethanol is a bad idea but sugar ethanol might not be; if we could renew trade with Cuba and use their sugar.
    I think we need to think of the electric grid as a single project; possibly wind but you are right it will not be easy.
    Haven’t really checked into why the health industry has not digitized on their own…Probably cost, regulations, and other reasons….I think I will look into it.

    December 30, 2008 at 8:10 p.m.

  • Now why in the world would the Chinese buy green energy from us?
     They have tons of coal and other resources they can use for a long time.
     Now they might develop better solar panels ect., But they would sell them to us!
     I can just hear their conversation.... " Ahhhh we love America, we make the solar panel cheaper, make money selling it to them, thanks the have we much coal to burn to make them".

    December 30, 2008 at 6:31 p.m.

  • Use the stimulus money to digatize medical records......
     Tell me when the new health care for all is in place, then I can see spending Gov. money for that.
     Since the insurance companies and hospital corps. are so greedy and only interested in making money, why have they not done this themselves? It seems to me if that would save so much money, they would have already done it themselves.
     Green energy, yeah it's great, as a supplement to the energy policy. However it can not (with current technology) even come close to being a major source of electricity.
     Corn as a source of vehicle fuel? Current technology requires more conventional energy than is produced. Sugar cane and  non food crops MIGHT be a answer but not for awhile.

    December 30, 2008 at 6:23 p.m.

  • Wayward
    First of all, a private company is not enforcing the law, just installs the cameras…. Is Dell Computer enforcing the law by providing information on suspects?
    We can read horror stories all day long about a system, but that does not mean we are bound to accept the mistakes cannot improve upon them.
    I have enough confidence in myself, then I can prove my whereabouts so even though I may become victim to a childish prank, I'm not wasting time worrying about it. I'm not that paranoid.
    The Chinese air drifts to Los Angeles area, but I imagine you don't care about them either.
    I thought people would mistake the animal example I gave, I did not mean the Chinese people.(polar bears,others)
    I meant to say,  we probably cannot stop the Chinese economic growth, but we can make it in their best interest to buy green energy from us. A win, win.

    December 30, 2008 at 6:18 p.m.

  • My intention was not to rehash the global warming debate. We all know that initially converting to green energy will be expensive until the innovators can work out a solution. That's why I gave the example of Germany and solar power. Our government provided the grants but did not get the returns because of a lack of patience and the dirty energy lobbyist.
    I'm finishing Tom Friedman's book "hot, flat, and crowded" where he described solar energy saving the lives of our soldiers in Iraq, and money to boot. He tells a story of 121° weather and the danger of supplying diesel fuel to the smaller outposts. General Zilmer convinced the Pentagon to put a temporary structures made of cement to replace the old reliable tents that needed 24/7 diesel runs for the computers. The solar panels and commercially sprayed foam on the outside of the remaining tents lowered their requirement for air-conditioner by 75%. We could not build more concrete headquarters because it would look like we were prepared for a permanent occupation.
    I'm really talking about going outside the dots, ideology, and plain stubbornness to make the environment friendlier for the Green innovators.

    December 30, 2008 at 6:04 p.m.

  • Mike...The "three measly cameras in a small town" is just the nose of the camel under the edge of the tent.  "Outdated and out of context constitutional arguments" are about very important constitutional matters.  The right to face your accusor, for example, is hardly outdated.  A private company is not supposed to enforce the laws of the country.  That is why we have police departments with governmental oversight.  A great many people do not trust the government and you seem to think that we should trust a private company with a large financial incentive in this matter.  Ms. Brandon has shown how the cameras can be spoofed.  Would YOU be willing to trust YOUR driving record and YOUR insurance rates to 21st century technology that can be fooled by a bunch of high school kids playing games with a computer?  I'm not.
    As for as the air quailty affecting the Chinese, don't worry about them.  There are a lot of them and they could lose a half-billion and actually be better off. 

    December 30, 2008 at 5:47 p.m.

  • Many have taken issue with Rev. Ken’s position on global warming. When he is not preaching (not that there is anything wrong with that) he is nay saying global warming. It now gives me considerable pain to say that maybe he is right – sort of.
    It now appears that the earth is indeed cooling. Polar Sea ice is increasing slightly and the temperature increase of the earth has leveled off. Where it goes from here is not at all certain.
    “Global warming” has been replaced with what is now called “climate change” caused by both green house gases and “global dimming.” When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 it released 22 million tons of SO2 into the atmosphere. The eruption cooled the entire earth about a degree F. Worldwide “annual” emissions of SO2 by man amount to about 147 million tons or about 6.7 times the amount Pinatubo released. Of course Pinatubo injected this material high up into the atmosphere where it stayed for a considerable amount of time.
    In addition it has been observed that jet contrails especially over heavily travelled areas also blocks the sun and cools the planet. So it should not be a surprise that we are not warming anymore, but we are changing the climate – there is no mistaking that.
    It is the Polar Regions of the earth where this great debate will be decided. These regions are reacting much faster than other regions. These regions also have a high potential for “positive” climate feedback by releasing frozen carbon.
    My point in all this is that we are kind of in a precarious situation. Replacing coal with clean energy may cause us to actually start heating up again, if the theory is correct. Green Energy (wind and solar) of course will have absolutely no impact on the use of coal. Investing heavily in Green Energy will insure that we use coal until we run out.
    And one last point I have not heard one serious economists say that throwing a trillion dollars at our current economic mess will have a beneficial result – at best they just don’t know.

    December 30, 2008 at 5:40 p.m.