Why Healthcare is Different

Dr. John Halamka, in his blog, describes some of the ways healthcare is different from other industries—and these things help explain why Healthcare IT is more challenging.

It’s a two part post: Healthcare is Different and Healthcare is Different Part II.

Here are some of the ones I found interesting:

  • Workforce: Many doctors are not hospital employees. It’s not easy to get compliance.
  • Funding: Healthcare has complex funding and payment structures. This makes it challenging to fund IT innovations.
  • Product Standardization: Clinical quality is hard to standardize. Many results are based on patient response and not all patients respond the same.
  • Domain expertise: It takes years to be an expert in a particular field.

He ends his first post with an optimistic outlook of the challenges facing Healthcare IT. He ends his second post with this:

My personal goal is to build software and workflow processes that make the complex seem easy, reducing the burden on providers so that they can focus on what’s really important, the patient.   That’s why the work for a Healthcare CIO will never be done.

I have to agree completely.