Why is it, with all the billions of dollars poured into health care information technology, that doctors can't query the information they hammer in to the computers themselves directly? Is it because our hospital administrators are scared of what we might find?
I am constantly amazed that I can't even query my work volume statistics. Despite the thousands of diagnosis and procedural codes that I have to enter on a computer to get paid, I'm not allowed to find out how many pacemakers I've performed for sick sinus syndrome versus complete heart block. I can't determine how many atrial fibrillation ablations I did last month without asking an administrator to "pull the data" for me.
Medicare gets the data.
The billers get the data.
Why can't I?
Should patient care information be valued less than billing data?
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good things that highly integrated electronic records can do for patient care, but seeing that doctors are the ones providing the care, shouldn't we be able to query, without restriction, any and all fields available pertaining to patient care? If I can program an Excel spreadsheet on my laptop to perform a nearly infinite number of queries, whay can't our billion-dollar electronic medical record companies make it just as easy for those providing the care to do the same?
Who knows, maybe we'll be able to find some improvements as a result.
Or might the potential that we find that all those information technology jobs are inefficient just too threatening to those in charge?