Thanks to the marvels of the internet and webinars I was able to attend the ACE 2010 event in Chicago from my well worn desk chair in my den here in California. Glen Tulman, CEO and extrovert of Allscripts was very good at analogizing much of health care with other industries, for example, Education.
Mr. Tulmann led off with the well worn exclamation that "Health is not a Commodity", but rather a "Community", which he compares to a coalescence of a collective intelligence.
During the webinar I was interrupted by a telephone call from "Dr Chronos", a new iPad EMR vendor.
I will return to that a bit later.
Mr. Tullman compared the manufacturing of a pencil with that of a computer. It seems the pencil requires a significant amount of 'collective intelligence to bring it forth from a tree, deliver it to a manufacturing plant, grind it into a pencil along with the graphite core, apply the eraser with a band of metal and label it correctly as a No. 2 pencil, or whatever. Also don't forget the distribution process, packaging, marketing, etc.
He readily admitted the increased complexity of the computer and it's coalition of community involving Microsoft, Google, Wikipedia, You Tube, and Facebook.
While most computers have a common operating system, he correctly observes that Health Care does not have a common operating system. He implies that what health care needs is an Operating System.
Mr. Tulmann also pointed out the disparity between professionals such as doctors and administrators, or business people, and compared to our teacher educators and their administrators.
Mr. Tulmann presented several projects where large dysfunctional or non functioning communities were revitalized block by block, one at a time. As an example he discussed Mr.Geoffrey Canada, a black American who was an instrumental leader in re-vitalizing Harlem in this same manner. I can see this analogy as it applies to healthcare.
The presentation was broad, general and not very specific, although it seemed to be pointing toward the latest well-spring of governmental largess, health information exchanges.
He outlined several health systems goals in San Diego to integrate health data information retrieval. These are Scripps and Sharp Health System......
ACE 2010 was mostly a media event for Allscripts personnel, the marketing and sale force. There were no really innovative ideas. It does however give one the sense of how the HITECH act has 'enabled' vendors' to sell their products. Users are still skeptical...