Why is implementing EHR like getting kids to eat broccoli?

Do you ever wonder if perhaps you are the only person who was never photographed with one of the Kennedys?  That got me thinking about our presidents.  NPR interviewed the person who spent eighty hours interviewing Clinton during the eight years during which he was allowed to park freely anywhere in DC.  See how this is already starting to come together?

The interviewer mentioned that Clinton described the Lewinski episode as a distraction.  I also employed several descriptors of that affairs—and yes, the pun is intentional—but I must have overlooked calling it a distraction.  People on both sides of the aisle called the episode a stupid thing.  Perhaps we should define the term ‘stupid thing’—doing long division and forgetting to carry the one is ‘a stupid thing’; mixing a red sock with a load of whites is ‘a stupid thing’.  Sometimes politics can have us all screaming infidelities.

When I share my thoughts about these things, some look at me like they are staring at an unlabeled can of food and trying to guess the contents.  Perhaps objectivity is only for the truly unimaginative.

Here comes the segue.  All of that thinking about presidents got me to thinking about Mr. Obama, reform, and EHR.  A lot of the original economic reform discussion had to do with TARP monies being tossed at the banks.  It was almost like a reverse bank holdup as the feds made the banks take money.

Which now takes us to healthcare reform and EHR.  ARRA money and states like New York providing a stimulus to the stimulus.  What is so distasteful about EHR that it makes governments offer money to get providers to implement it?  How might we illustrate this?

Let’s say I offer my children a choice of two things to eat; broccoli and chocolate cake.  What happens?  My kids make a bee-line for the cake.  The broccoli requires an incentive to get any takers.  My children are prepared to suffer untold penalties instead of eating the broccoli.  There may be some financial incentive which will entice them to eat broccoli, but it will be pricey.  Telling them it’s good for them, or that they have to eat it makes no difference to short people—they need to be bribed.

Telling healthcare providers EHR is good for them, or that they have to do it makes no difference to tall people—they want to be bribed.  What does this signify?  What is it about EHR that requires incentives and some foreign force majeure to get the discussion underway?  It’s not as though the healthcare providers don’t want to do things that will improve their business.  What is it they know that we don’t?  What other than money would make them run towards EHR rather than away from it?

You don’t suppose it has something to do with broccoli, do you?

For those who enjoy Dana Carvey, here’s a link to his song about chopping broccoli.



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