Let's hope those glasses aren't rose-colored. Somewhere between the devilish details playing out at Sutter and the innovations of Google and others, all while U.S. healthcare is going through an unprecedented transformation from volume to value, is the reality of health IT's value.
It's not a panacea, but without health IT, we probably wouldn't even dream of healthcare's creative destruction or innovative ways of engaging patients.
Geeta Nayyar MD is a practicing rheumatologist at Florida International University in Miami, Florida whose other job is CMIO of PatientPoint, one of the largest providers of TV-based education in practice waiting rooms and exam rooms – and more broadly, any technology required to engage patients in managing their own care.
"You want to make sure the content that people are reading is accurate, which is a large part of what we're doing at PatientPoint," Nayyar says.
But how much difference can this make in an age when the vast majority of the population conducts Google or a smartphone's app store for medical advice before they ever contact a doctor or nurse?
"It's a great question," Nayyar says. "Part of being an empowered patient is knowing where to look. When I am thinking of starting [patients] on a new regimen, I tell them, please do go out there and find information, but I want you to find the information from these trusted sources that I think are good – the Arthritis Foundation, the American College of Rheumatology, the Lupus Foundation. Absolutely go online, talk to your friends, but these are the top five sources that I trust as your physician."