Archive for August 14th, 2007

World’s Best Healthcare?

August 14, 2007

In the Sunday NY Times, a major editorial on the current sorry state of healthcare in the US was sparked both by Sicko and by a report from the World Health Organization. It covers the usual complaints we have all heard before: insurance coverage, access, fairness, healthy lives, quality, life and death, patient satisfaction. Use of information technology is noted also as lagging other developed countries with lack of coordination of care.

In my mind this is as much an insurance issue as a technology issue – silos of information by for-profit insurance companies which will not be shared to coordinate care. Single payor makes sense but will be a tough sell without more lobbying reform as well.

I am glad that at least one editorial page is bringing this forward.

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Darwikinian evolution or folksonomic revolution?

August 14, 2007

I like how this article from The Medical Journal of Australia creates a dichotomy between two key Web 2.0 concepts – how wikis build knowledge from the survival of the fittest ideas to the folksonomy of simple tags replacing complex taxonomies. The authors, a medical librarian and two physicians, create a helpful overview of Web 2.0 in health care and discussion of some of the conflicts between Web 2.0 values and those of medicine. Specifically, they note: “The time between notification of an error and cleanup has recently been debated by health bloggers as a window of possible harm, and other problems of governance, liability and accuracy have been raised in rapid responses to Dean Guistini’s recent BMJ article on Web 2.0.”

Regarding social networking, “students of all ages learn best when immersed within a culturally and socially rich environment in which learners and peers are committed to achieving the same goals and can regulate each others’ performance.”  A real plus for medical and allied health education.

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