Observations on life

Imagine if health care was really efficient 

Imagine if this card was real. Imagine if when visiting any health care provider of any kind in the US you could present this card and when inserted in a terminal all your medical records, test results, prescriptions, allergies, MRIs, scans, etc. plus the details of your insurance coverage appeared on the screen. Imagine your prescriptions were automatically forwarded to the pharmacy. Imagine that after care was received the data was entered and a claim forwarded to your insurer through a common system and your resource card updated.


  • How much more efficiently health care could be provided
  • How many unnecessary tests and procedures could be avoided
  • How much administrative expense could be avoided in hospitals and doctors offices
  • How malpractice liability could be reduced
  • How much better the cost of prescription drugs could be managed
  • Imagine the reduced stress and hassle for patients

A massive expensive undertaking you say? Of course it is, but we have to start somewhere. HHS just wasted $1.5 billion of your money on failed Obamacare co-op health plans that the most basic knowledge of health insurance indicated was the likely result. The Department of Education estimates it will spend up to $21 billion over the next decade in education loan forgiveness for students who claim they were mislead about future job prospects, earnings, etc.; a claim that in my view doesn’t say much for the common sense of these students

Oh I know, privacy issues, hacking and all the rest; excuses, problems that can and must be overcome. Initiate the process gradually starting with newborns, then Medicare, let others voluntarily join and add their data. Provide incentives for early provider adopters by region and gradually work toward a universal data base. If necessary, let the Neanderthals opt out in the early years.

What a world, I pay for coffee with my phone around the world. find my car, lock my car. I talk to my car to tell it where to go and the music I want, my Fitbit tracks each step I take. I FaceTime grandchildren from the middle of the ocean or anywhere in the world. Pretty soon my car will drive me to the doctor’s office where I can fill out endless forms, try to recall what drugs I’m allergic to, what drugs I’m taking, and the results of an MRI I had two years ago.

And we wonder why health care is unaffordable?


Categories: Observations on life

5 replies »

  1. Dick, This is a wonderful idea. I am concerned that there are a number of older physicians who have no or limited knowledge of computer technology. Hlouismarturana@msn.comow can we get them on board? Is there a way to do this? Other than getting them into this new century, we present them with a dilemma that we have to solve. Do you plan to attend the luncheon on 12/12? Lou


  2. I have all that information ready at hand – except for emergencies, when only a subset travels with me. It is personal responsibility.

    If your idea is so great, just like your iPhone, people should be willing to pay. And the reason they don’t?


  3. A well-integrated and complete electronic medical record would be wonderful but will the primary care physician have more than the ten minutes he is allowed now to read it, examine and treat each patient?


    • The answer would be no. Years ago my doctor would ask me question about my treatment, and I would tell him I don’t know. I would tell him to look in the chart because I saw him write it down in my chart.


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