It is hard to not have conversations about politics these days. No matter which side you support, chances are you are passionate in that belief and ready to fight when someone challenges you. During a discussion with a friend, they made a dramatic statement. “If people really learned the facts regarding where politicians stand and why they hold those beliefs instead of just taking other’s word for it, the political landscape would be a very different place.” A truer statement could not be made and it is applicable in so many aspects of our lives.
This topic is sort of a continuation of the previous blog entry that asked if we were our own worst enemies. The focus of that entry was that MTs do now stay informed while the purpose of this is to state that allied health professionals form immovable opinions based on what someone else tells them instead of their own personal research and experience.
In speaking with a few students recently, I heard them discussing how horrific speech recognition was and that it was the bane of the MT world; however, when questioned all admitted having no personal experience using the technology but instead had heard others proclaim the statement which meant it must be true. Ironically a few months ago I heard a similar conversation from experienced MTs who also admitted never using it and purposefully avoiding it at all costs.
I was part of a conversation with coders who felt that ICD-10 was the end-all, be-all wonderful thing for healthcare but none had ever stopped to think of the costs, who would pay for it, and how the industry would increase the workforce by 150% to 200% to cover the need. Not a single one had read any academic research (read non-vendor propoganda but peer-reviewed research) that showed that in Canada the permanent need became 1.5 to 2 coders to handle the load that used to take a single coder because of all the additional specificity...and the research was clear that the need did not decrease. So imagine now the cost of coding increase by 150% to 200%..can we sustain that at a time we are screaming for cost cutting?
Many are also jumping on the bandwagon of the EHR being a detriment to patient care because they feel it will decrease patient access time and increase costs. While this may be true, the further into the conversation you get, the more of the real reason you hear. MTs are afraid of where they will fit into the EHR because someone mentioned that fewer traditional MTs would be needed. Coders are also leary because they are now beginning to fear the same thing. Again reading the academic research is inconsistent. I am currently doing my doctoral dissertation on the EHR and it is amazing how much we have heard promised that is so far not holding true.
The logic is intriguing as it takes a while for people to get to the point where they admit their true reasons for their dislike or like of certain technology. Even more intriguing is that they allow others to make a statement that is then taken as fact without challenge. This often leads to the ostrich head-in-the-sand thinking. If you avoid it, it will go away or the more hardcore stance of “if we declare it as detrimental to healthcare, it will go away.”
I just cannot accept this line of thinking as logical. Even if there are some truths in the scenarios, ultimately this approach will lead to personal failure as the professional is left on the sidelines as they find they are no longer qualified to participate in the changing healthcare documentation arena. A much better approach would be for the professional to invest their time in personally learning about these new technologies and determining how, or if, they can fit in. We must keep current with technology and expose the good and the bad and ensure that we continue to have a place in the future. We must be an informed medical professional.