Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Flattening Health Care

Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat posits 10 forces that are flattening the world. Some of these are evident in the US healthcare system, but not enough for my taste.

The first flattener: the fall of the Berlin wall and within six months the shipping of Windows 3.0. It's difficult for those of us who remember the cold war to convey the change embodied by the phrase "I scored some pirated software in China." And we thought only Nixon could go to China. Health care impact: more IMG's are entering medicine in the US than ever before, draining many countries of much needed talent. Meanwhile tele-radiologists and video-intensivists have arrived. Can a Wal-Mart effect be far behind?

Hospitals began outsourcing food services and housekeeping years ago. But will they homesource a call center?

Patients already 'see' their chart online. When will they be able to register themselves, make co-payments online, request referrals and prior-authorization online directly from the insurer?

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