Why DC might be wrong on Meaningful Use

I watched recently Barry Levinson’s movie Liberty Heights about a handful of people in Baltimore growing up in the fifties.  In one scene the high school practices a civil defense drill.  For those who have never seen a civil defense drill, a number slightly smaller than those who have never seen a dodo bird, permit me to explain.

From the fifties through the early eighties the fear of the US and the Soviets—if you have to look it up, it is better that you stop reading—engaging in nuclear war seemed so imminent that school children participated regularly in drills to protect them from nuclear attack, nuclear winter, nuclear annihilation.  The exercise was called duck and cover.  Stay with me now—those in charge were quite serious about this.

In duck and cover, once you saw the flash of the nuclear explosion—assuming your retinas weren’t fused—you were supposed to get under a table, most likely a wooden one that would have already turned to ash, and assume the fetal—or fecal position.  Educated adults came up with this idea as a solution, people with PhDs.

Generations of kids, millions of kids practiced this drill several times a year.  Someone puts forth a directive.  Instead of challenging it, other reasoned adults wallow in their folly.

Duck and cover.  Lemmings off cliff.

EHR and Meaningful Use.  Lemmings off cliff.

Question it before you leap.  EHR is a great opportunity.  EHR under the government’s direction—this is the same institution who developed duck and cover.  EHR and Meaningful Use—if you find it meaningful, you would probably benefit from speaking with someone who does not share your perspective.

Meaningful Use from EHR’s Meaningful Muse.

3 thoughts on “Why DC might be wrong on Meaningful Use

  1. Pingback: Why DC might be wrong on Meaningful Use « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy?

  2. Ah, Duck and cover, I remember it well. I grew up in the 1970’s in Oklahoma and we were still doing that until 1979. We had Fire drill: go outside and wait. We had Tornado Drill: put your head between your legs sit beside the wall or in the doorway. We had Duck and Cover: same as Tornado, except you might also want to start praying. I remember it vividly. Because of that experience, I read every post-apocalyptic novel I could get my hands on. I read On the Beach, Alas Babylon, The Stand, Malevil, Earth Abides and many, many, many more… I knew the chances of surviving were not good; but if it were at all possible, I would survive. When my husband became ill we fought. He died, but I fought on. I believe in post-apocalyptic ideas. Life does go on, even when your world is ending. The government may try to help us with directions or directives, but it is up to us, as empowered patients, to do more research and find out what we need to do to survive.
    ~Regina Holliay


  3. Thank you for making the time to read and comment. Hopefully when the weather warms I can drive to DC and you will permit me to help you with one of your murals.

    Sometimes it feels like I am the only one throwing metaphorical tomatoes, but I just don’t think they get it. The ‘they’s’ continue to rotate in and out, but it never seems to change the outcome. Half of our current batch of ‘theys’ seem intent on passing something, perhaps in the misguided belief that if we only open the kimono that will give them the opportunity to prove us wrong.

    I liken it back to the notion that the only thing the camel wants after it pokes its nose under the tent is to get its entire body into the tent.

    I think that before we ask them to run a sixth of the economy we should test them out on something smaller. Let’s, for example, ask them to solve the parking problem in DC. They have yet to demonstrate that they know how to help with the healthcare IT mess. To date, their efforts have consisted of writing checks. What successes there have been come from the providers, not the check writers.


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