For­get one-size-fits-all so­lu­tions in health­care

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the story “AMA pleads for more user-friendly EHRs” (Mod­ern Health­, Sept. 16), if elec­tronic health records were cost-ef­fec­tive and good for pa­tient out­comes for ev­ery sin­gle size and type of physi­cian prac­tice, we would all be us­ing them with­out any gov­ern­ment car­rot-and-stick in­cen­tives. By throw­ing money at or tak­ing away money from the mar­ket, they skew, or more ac­cu­rately, dis­tort, the mar­ket in per­verse ways.

When the door closes in the exam room, health­care be­comes a cot­tage in­dus­try of one-off prod­ucts. No two pa­tients are alike and no univer­sal health plan pay­ment, EHR, med­i­ca­tion or in­ter­ven­tion will work for ev­ery­one. Yet gov­ern­ment laws and reg­u­la­tions try to force this in­dus­try’s pegs—pa­tients with their in­fi­nite vari­abil­ity of ill­nesses—into a common size and shape hole. Lawrence Jankowski

Mor­ton Grove, Ill.

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