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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bullshit Headlines

I hate it when journalists put a bullshit headline or spin on a story to attract attention.  Here are a few that caught my attention recently:

  • Doctors not eager for you to touch your own health records
  • Electronic Health Records: Doctors Want to Keep Patients Out
  • Most U.S. Doctors Would Limit Patient EHR Access
  • Most Doctors Prefer Not Sharing Records with Patients
  • Few Physicians Say Patients Should Have Full EHR Access

Here's the original article title with a link:

Accenture Survey Reveals Most US Doctors Believe Patients Should Help Update Their Electronic Health Records, But Shouldn’t Have Access to Their Full Record

And here's the most significant quote from the announcement:

A new Accenture survey shows that most US doctors (82 percent) want patients to actively participate in their own healthcare by updating their electronic health records. However, only a third of physicians surveyed (31 percent) believe their patients should have access to their full health record (see Figure 1). These findings were consistent among 3,700 doctors surveyed by Accenture in eight countries: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.

Thank you Accenture for providing an accurate title.  Unfortunately, our media seems to harp on bad news.

The good news:

  • 4 out of 5 doctors want you to have access to update your health records, 
  • 96% believe patients should have some access to their record, 
  • and 3 in 10 believe that patients should have access to their FULL record.

The bad news?  It appears that some of the media doesn't know how to make any money from good news.  These headlines aren't on articles from obscure media outlets, either.

Could it be better?  Damn right.  But badly harping on what is bad isn't going to make it better.  If you really wanted to harp on the bad parts of this news, I ask you, where is the reporting on the patient outrage at this report.  Or perhaps the investigative reporting on why providers aren't offering what they say that they approve of?

Surely you could find a patient or two to interview about access to records, and the importance of it, and what we need to do to get better as a nation (if not, I can link you to a double dozen and more).  Or maybe you could talk to some healthcare providers on either side of this story.  Come on.  Get with the program.  And next time, give me some real headlines with the real news.

-- Keith

P.S.  And yes, this headline is SEO optimized, just to double down on the point.


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  2. Amazingmhow bullshit attracts annoying flies.

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  5. Like the shortage of HIT people, BS. Maybe cheap ones. The only it isn't about setting up pcs anymore