Just Enough Technology Should Be Your Goal
You can never be too rich or too thin, but you can have too much technology.
Walking around the show floor of the HIMSS conference a couple of weeks ago, just as I started with HealthLeaders Media, I was reminded of that again and again. The technology on display at HIMSS was an impressive summary of all that's been done in the past 20 or so years to use IT to solve some of healthcare's problems.
But at booth after booth, I saw software that boggled my mind in its complexity. One theme I've heard repeatedly as I've come up to speed on the challenges of the meaningful use of healthcare IT is how software can't do it all. How antiquated workflow routines in the clinic and at the bedside get in the way of quality care. How people and politics are the stumbling blocks to breaking apart those antiquated workflows and reassembling them with cost efficiency and patient satisfaction in mind.
Perhaps the problem is that we sometimes innovate ourselves into a corner. Ever since 1981, when I started covering the breakthrough of personal computing for InfoWorld magazine, our society has innovated and innovated.