cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Whenever I go to see my physician, I am exposed to the system in use that came from a company in Verona, WI. That company is EPIC Systems Corporation and it is THRIVING big time. It is expanding its campus again and is hiring tons of people. This company started in 1979 and provides systems for hospitals and clinics and related facilities. It is a private company with employee ownership.
It has some 270 customers (but the reach of those customers is awesome), and about one in every four physicians in the U.S. (some 250,000) use an EPIC system or soon will.
Froederdt Community Memorial Hospital has begun using an EPIC system. My physician at Aurora Advanced Healthcare uses an EPIC system and has indicated that he doesn’t know how he made it so long doing everything as it used to be done.
EPIC is a great story, more so since it started and continues to be based in Wisconsin.
There is a bit of a twist to this story, though. It makes software interfaces that will allow hospitals and physicians to communicate with each other no matter their affiliation, but those organizations must make that happen by agreeing they wish it to occur.
At the moment, Froederdt Community Memorial Hospital and Aurora Advanced Healthcare do not have an electronic link available, so, during my recent cataract surgery, I had to go through all the same health history at the hospital that is already contained in my records held by Aurora Advanced. It was possible that I might’ve forgotten something that could’ve been critical, an allergy, for example.
The simple reason is that the Aurora organization and the Froederdt Community Hospital organization do not share records between themselves. These are competing health care organizations and that makes a lot of difference. Each is trying to assure that it will survive and prosper in the coming years even as health care delivery undergoes changes affected by ObamaCare, but neither has deemed it advantageous to permit the other access to its system, even though it is on a platform that would make this possible.
This is but one example of situations that exist all across the country, and these situations are causing greater costs in the delivery of healthcare while adding to the potential of adverse conditions for individual patients. Unless and until these artificial barriers to data-sharing are removed, the cost of health care will remain higher than necessary, and the potential for medical crises to occur that might’ve been precluded through data-sharing will continue to exist.
I am not holding my breath so far as our local situation…unless one was to acquire the other…and that doesn’t seem possible anywhere within the next decade as things look today. These competitive situations exist in every market in our country, so true integration is far off, even though possible for users of the EPIC systems.