Come Along And Be My Data Troll

I am following a LinkedIn discussion “EMR work: Who seem to be best contributors – Clinical or Technical?”

My initial response was we need contributions from both.

Revisiting the many posts, I feel it is important to point out that “technology” in many healthcare systems prevents clinical staff from “contributing”.

When your needs have to be documented using a “special” notation and slid under the door of IT, this discourages contribution.

The main differentiating factor across all EMRs/EHRS on the market today is whether a proposed system is capable of addressing your current needs or current plus unanticipated future needs.

No system, of course, can predict what criteria future MU stages are likely to ask for.  The vendors will take care of this.

But, healthcare services delivery is not only all about improving long term outcomes.  It used to be that the main focus was on helping individual patients to get well.  Given the option, doctors would prefer to keep that focus,  but the more time they are required to spend acting as data trolls and collecting aggregate data, the less time they have to spend on patients.

If you think about it, at the end of the day, there is no difference between a healthcare services delivery organization and any other organization – the more successful ones have, over time, evolved workflows that give them a competitive advantage.

So, guess what?

If you have to abandon your workflow and take on a workflow imposed by some 3rd party, this diminishes your competitive advantage.

Check out “Your workflows or mine?”

My findings have been that when you make it possible for clinicians to develop, own and manage their own workflows,  they become enthusiastic contributors.

This initially ruffles the feathers of some old-school IT pros but they soon realize that they have more important things to attend to beyond playing “clinician”, one example being  interoperability.

Once everyone has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the future, both groups realize that each has a pivotal role to play in rolling out better healthcare delivery services systems.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, healthcare services delivery, job shop manufacturing and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2018 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Business Process Improvement, Case Management, Data Interoperability, Database Technology, FIXING HEALTHCARE, Meaningful Use, Software Acquisition, Software Design, TECHNOLOGY. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Come Along And Be My Data Troll

  1. I changed the title – “Come Along and be my party doll” was by Bruce Springsteen.


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