Adventures in healthcare (revisited)

The coming week is going to be, well, interesting for yours truly.

Tuesday: Kidney stones blasted with sound waves. General anesthetic.
Wednesday: Painful cyst removed from my wrist. Local anesthetic.
Thursday: Gallbladder removal surgery. General anesthetic.

These procedures will all take place at different locations. It’s an insurance thing. Hence, I’ve gone through pre-op at two different hospital, sharing only a few of the tests. I have multiple specialists, their separate offices, and drugs galore.

I’m only a little anxious, but what’s been crystal clear to me as an observer of life is the need for a single medical database with multiple entry points. It would save billions and dramatically increase efficiency within the healthcare system (although it might cost a lot of jobs). Imagine if I carried a little device with my data and simply plugged it in at each place. No more forms. No redundant testing. Everybody would know my history, my drug regimen and pending appointments, regardless of when or where they were scheduled.

Of course, there’s the whole privacy thing, but let me tell you as a guy who is shelling out $3,000 in insurance deductibles this week that the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives. We simply MUST get a handle on healthcare costs, or only those who can afford treatment will get it.

In other words, kind of like what we have today, although the line keeps moving northward every year as insurance companies raise their rates and deductibles get higher.

Comments

  1. wishing you well.

    know that the internet is awaiting your prompt return.

  2. Yes we need a single database, but we do not need insurance companies running it.

  3. You prefer the government, Alan? Good to see you again.

  4. Terry and Alan, you missed it by a mile, which is why you have a privacy concern. We absolutely do not need or want a single medical database. What we need is a standard for storing and indexing medical information, and for a patient to authorize the information he wants released to a given provider. A person could contract with any number of companies to store the data on his behalf, or could elect to carry it around on a portable device. Both you and Alan are right though. The government and the insurance companies are the worst and second worst people, respectively, to have this information.

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