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May 23, 2010 News 4 Comments

A History of the Future of EHRs

Amid the carved skulls at the great Mayan monument of Tzompantli, a recently discovered hidden chamber revealed an amazing revision to the well known Mayan Calendar which describes the end of the world in 2012. Apparently cast aside for its heretical proclamations, this new Calendar is most impressive for both the time extension it allows humankind as well as the incredible glyphs just now decoded which appear to describe the tumultuous rise of electronic health records and the NHIN, known in Mayan as the MHIN.

For the first time, the heterodox Mayan timeline for the history of the future of EHRs is revealed:

2011 — Vast turmoil as great masses of people are running willy-nilly under the misplaced perception that EHR adoption is a “do or die” decision.

2012 — Multiple EHR vendors collapse or are subsumed by larger corporations as scrambling to meet federal guidelines has created near panic in the EHR streets. Many end users struggle with poorly researched EHR purchases and inadequate staff workflow change preparation. In conjunction with insufficient “boots on the ground” support, both in numbers and in abilities, massive installation failures ensue. (Some are disappointed that December 21st, the predicted End of Days, passes without event.)

2014 — Numerous HIT-RECs failing as greed, misappropriations, and planning failures waste billions of dollars. The unexpected bailout of the global oil giants diverts most of the remaining funds intended for Meaningful Use success, leading to massive global flooding from the tears of the disappointed.

2015 — The loss of funding leads to great innovation and a torrent of development of healthcare informational tool “apps.” The new ease of use and miniscule learning curves seem to assuage the fears and disappointments of discouraged end users. Massive installation failures abate.

2017 — The rise of the “Age of Minority Report.” Freeing end users from mice, pens, and smudgy monitor screens, MR-style, floating in air, graphical displays along with air guitar-esque user input methods allow everyone to adopt digital health record technology. Seamless integration into healthcare provision workflows without loss of revenue stream or diminished patient care capacities lead to true “paper-less” healthcare. (The Mayan symbol for this Age looks uncannily like Tom Cruise.)

2019 — Rejuvenated HIE efforts build upon the foundations of the only three surviving HIT-RECs remaining from 2010. The seeming HITECH debacle seems to have bottomed out and the refocus appears to be gaining momentum.

2020 — Patients, providers, hospitals, and all sorts of associated players begin to reap amazing benefits from the integration of personalized medicine, advances in genomics, and (finally) a tremendous push toward patient-centric medical care and community-empowered health management.

2021 — The NHIN (MHIN) reaches true “total integration.”

2022 — December 21, 2012, brings about the recalculated end of the current b’ak’tun cycle and the true End of Days.

Well, heck, at least we get an extra decade and are granted enough time to see this frustrating HIT thing through to its eventual success!

From the modified Mesoamerican Long Count trenches…

It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.” – Bill Watterson


Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician, directs the “Pediatric Office of the Future” exhibit for the
American Academy of Pediatrics and is a member of the Professional Advisory Council for ModernMedicine.com. More of his blather…er, writings…can be found at his blog, practice web site or directly from doc@madisonpediatric.com.

Comments 4
  • Ha, ha, ha, Dr. Alexander! You are a scream!! Thanks for helping me stay sane. (HIT humor is the only alternative to HIT chaos at this point.) See you in 2022. Bignurse

  • This was a very bright spot in my day. I’m glad I ran across your writings…Thank you for giving us all hope for the future 😉

  • Despite the lovely Mayan context 🙂 I fear your factual prediction might not be that much off…

  • A masterpiece! Very creative. (Oops…you already know about that one!)

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