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Thread: Inefficiency in Healthcare

  1. #1
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Inefficiency in Healthcare

    My father had surgery last March related to Pancreatic Cancer. The surgery was a success, but of course, it has been a tough time for him ever since. Our family, while doing our best to ruin our health, have managed to avoid serious illnesses or surgeries until this year.

    One thing I've noticed as I've been present in the hospital, in the nursing home and at home is the redunancy of healthcare workers. My parents have to sit there and endlessly be asked the same questions. If shifts change, they do the interview about his health history all over again.

    Today, I sat in on a session with a home health care worker who says in the midst of a multiple time of filling out this same health history booklet that "I think I'm going to Xerox this so we don't have to do this every time."

    Really! Now there's an idea.

    I am quickly learning how screwed up health providers are and inefficient in delivering their services. I understand some things take time and you can't microwave test results, but asking my dad his health history every single time a health provider shows up for some service is an incredible waste of time and money.

    Of course, her agency gets to bill medicare for 2 hours of checking vitals and filling out his health history for the umpteenth time.

    And this system is so overwhelmed, here's certainly one reason why. I imagine one day it is just going to implode before true reform is explored.

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  3. #2
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    My mom was a nurse for a long time and she noticed this too. I am pretty sure she said that nurses used to work with the same patient for long periods of time and had pretty regular shifts. So, in your dad's case he might work with three nurses tops- one for each 8 hour shift. But now it's not done that way and so there's a lot of explaining that has to happen with each person who comes into contact with the patient.
    But still, you'd think a database could hold that info pretty easily and that they could carry laptops, don't you?

    Hope your dad is recovering!
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  4. #3
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Yeah, I was about to say: "Xerox?" How about using one of them new-fangled computin' machines? I hear they're all the rage.

    I dealt with a lot of that junk when my dad was ill so I know all too well what traderumor's talking about.
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    Member PedroBourbon's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    As a healthcare worker I will tell you a lot of this has to do with medical malpractice. For example, If a doc prescribes or a nurse administers medication without asking appropriate medical history beforehand, a malpractice lawyer will have their way with them if there is some adverse reaction or response.

    It is easier to prove that you wrote down or documented your questions than it is to just state that you read the appropriate medical history on a "Xerox"

    I fully agree it is inefficient and redundant, I not trying to defend the system, only let you know where a lot of it comes from.

    BTW, loved the Xerox reference, my father to this day still says it.
    "Trying is the first step towards failure." Homer Simpson

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    I don't know, this method is just screaming for some automation. If auditors can audit a set of books on a PC, then surely a healthcare worker can eliminate some redunancy with the same tool.

    I did attend a strategy session last week that discussed Electronic Medical Record technology, so maybe its just lagging. The crazy thing is that we are told the cost of healthcare owes a lot to technological advances, when I think it has to do with inefficient workers and high labor rates. But what do I know, I'm just an accountant.

  7. #6
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Hope your dad is recovering!
    He has had it rough, nearly invalid at this point. Thank you for the well wishes

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    The Latin Heartthrob Javy Pornstache's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Going through the same issues with this and with my pop too, tr, my thoughts and well wishes to you and yours.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    I am right there with your father. I've spent more time in hosptials and doctor's office the past year than I ever care to again. The redundancies are sickening. Of course, as long as doctors are paid to do things to you instead of for you this will be the case...my latest round of medical bills shows that. I am lucky to have an excellent PCP and neuro team. But my opinion of one of the local hospitals is not so warm and fuzzy.

  10. #9
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    The technology is all there (and has been for a while), but HIPAA and patient privacy and legal ramifications have all stalled this out.

    I've thought about taking a USB drive with all of her information on it and hanging it on a lanyard around my m-i-l's neck.

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  11. #10
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    The technology is all there (and has been for a while), but HIPAA and patient privacy and legal ramifications have all stalled this out.

    I've thought about taking a USB drive with all of her information on it and hanging it on a lanyard around my m-i-l's neck.
    Yep, I work at a huge data center for a Hospital network that spans the whole west coast. We have armed guards because because we have all that data.

  12. #11
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    The technology is all there (and has been for a while), but HIPAA and patient privacy and legal ramifications have all stalled this out.

    I've thought about taking a USB drive with all of her information on it and hanging it on a lanyard around my m-i-l's neck.
    The funny part about HIPAA is that most people will tell you anything you want to know about their health, even if not asked. Give them a stinking pin or password giving permission and be done with it. And the bureaucrats think they can run the healthcare system. Can anyone say VA?

  13. #12
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    And the bureaucrats think they can run the healthcare system. Can anyone say VA?
    I'd say that the government has very little to do with current inefficiencies in the health care industry. Since in the status quo they currently have zero leverage to influence price and cost. The inefficiencies are mostly the magic of the holy market.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I'd say that the government has very little to do with current inefficiencies in the health care industry. Since in the status quo they currently have zero leverage to influence price and cost. The inefficiencies are mostly the magic of the holy market.
    HIPAA is government regulation that is rightly identified as a cause of failing to use available technology that would make the process I am describing (medical history, medications) much more efficient.

    Further, does the government do anything efficiently (see VA--go ahead, try to get necessary but not emergency surgery scheduled immediately). It isn't hard to predict that a government that defines the term bureaucracy would not make a bureaucratic nightmare out of an already inefficient system. Who turns to the government to improve efficiency in any field?

  15. #14
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I'd say that the government has very little to do with current inefficiencies in the health care industry. Since in the status quo they currently have zero leverage to influence price and cost. The inefficiencies are mostly the magic of the holy market.
    Really? I'd like to hear you back that up since my guess is you don't have a clue what you're talking about and are just spouting some party-line, left-wing garbage.

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    Re: Inefficiency in Healthcare

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    Really? I'd like to hear you back that up since my guess is you don't have a clue what you're talking about and are just spouting some party-line, left-wing garbage.
    Yet, no lock.


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