Tag: health care

Health Care vs. Risk Snare

So I’m a guest on the latest TWiL (This Week in Law) podcast. Lots of VRM links at that link, below the topic, “How modernization of health data management is changing the health system.”

Here’s what I tried to say, or would like to have said better than I did.

Health care now lives in the networked world. That world is comprised of data. And the network is, as Kevin Kelly perfectly puts it, a copy machine. The result is, as Bob Frankston perfectly puts it, a sea of bits. Health care needs to adapt to this world, embrace it, take full advantage of it.

This imperative is at odds with the calculation of risk that is at the heart of our health care system here in the U.S. It would not be unfair, or even wrong, to call our health care system a risk management system. To see what I mean, imagine removing the insurance business from the middle of it.

Of course risk is always involved where odds must be calculated, and much of health care is legitimately about calculating the odds involved in a given condition, procedure or whatever. But huge hunks of our health care system, in addition to the culture surrounding it, is built around managing risk that has little to do with what our bodies and minds might require. Here are where we have fears of exposure, of disclosure, of mistakes, of all kinds of stuff that wouldn’t be a worry if we didn’t have to weigh the costs of knowning too much or too little in one circumstance or another, because something (a procedure, a doctor or a patient’s ass) might not be covered.

The nature of the networked world — of the big copy machine that constantly enlarges the sea of bits — is to reduce the risk of knowing too little, of having insufficient information, of reconciling data conflicts, or even conflicting judgment calls.

In the long run we must abandon a system that values risk more than care. I believe we have the former, to a dangerous degree, today. We will eventually require the latter. And that requires a health care system that essentially insures everybody.

Health Care Relationship Management

Health 2.0 is going on today and tomorrow in Boston. So is HealthCamp Boston. Says Mark Scrimshire, about the latter,

We are using CoverItLive as one of the methods of helping you track the event.

We are encouraging all participants to Blog, Tweet and upload photos and videos using the #HCBos and #SocPharm hashtags.

Click Here for the CoverItLive feed or follow the CoverItLive Feed on Mark Scrimshire’s EKIVE blog: http://ekive.blogspot.com/

The CoverItLive RSS Feed is here.

Wish I could be there. (Boston is our home during the academic year, but rigtht now we’re getting some R&R at our perma-home in Santa Barbara.) Meanwhile I suggest that everybody who cares about VRM consider the matter of HCRM — Health Care Relationship Management. (A term I just made up. HRM might be better if it wasn’t about HR.) Health 2.0’s concern is user-generated health care, its about page says. That puts it in VRM territory right there.

Here’s the agenda for Health 2.0. HealthCampBoston is more on the BarCamp model. A DIY agenda.

Among the biggest topics in HCRM in recent years has been PHR, for Personal Health Records. Search for that, with quotes, and you get over half a million results. Leave off the quotes and you get fifty-five million results. The more specific (and less confusing, with Physicians for Human Rights) EHR, for Electronic Health Records, gets nearly five million results.

This is a huge topic, of a degree of importance that verges on the absolute. It’s also perhaps the most sisyphean of VRM categories. I find that daunting, but there are many professionals in health care and related fields who have been doing a great job pushing big rocks long distances. These people are heroes, even if they don’t know or acknowledge that. Here are some links to get started:

Send me more, or comment below, and I’ll add them here.


  • #ehr
  • #emr
  • #HealthcareIT
  • #health20con
  • #hrm

There’s much more, of course. To get thinking rolling among the VRMerati, consider this mind-bender at ePatients.net., and this follow-up, both by ePatientDave:

Imagine that for all your life, and your parents’ lives, your money had been managed by other people who had extensive training and licensing. Imagine that all your records were in their possession, and you could occasionally see parts of them, but you just figured the pros had it under control.

Imagine that you knew you weren’t a financial planner but you wanted to take as much responsibility as you could – to participate. Imagine that some money managers (not all, but many) attacked people who wanted to make their own decisions, saying “Who’s the financial planner here?”

Then imagine that one day you were allowed to see the records, and you found out there were a whole lot of errors, and the people carefully guarding your data were not as on top of things as everyone thought.

Also this piece of intelligence, about Twitter and hospitals.

© 2023 ProjectVRM

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑