Wednesday, October 10, 2018

But We're Different

The number of times I hear this phrase no longer astounds me. In making this statement the speaker rejects an offered solution because of a perceived difference based on a special need. I've often seen that the special need is similar to other special needs where the proposed solution is already in use elsewhere (Healthcare people sometimes act as if they are the only ones operating in a regulated industry).

Some years ago I led a diverse workgroup across three quite distinct stakeholders trying to solve (what appeared to me to be) the same problem. By "lead", I mean cajoled, bugged, spanked (verbally), herded, out-waited, out-witted, listened, learned, fumed, and eventually rejoiced. Over the course of a year I watched this group evolve three completely separate white papers and approaches into one, and after that evolve into an IHE workgroup (QRPH). That workgroup now looks more deeply into their commonalities than they do their differences.

In my most recent dive into medication management I see a similar opportunity for CDS Vendors, EDI vendors, PDMPs, eRX & CPOE developers, payers and pharmacies to come together around a singular solution for improving medication orders.

The challenge for this group is quite different though. Unlike QRPH, which faced a lack of solutions, attention and funding, medication management has a plethora of all of the above. The poverty in what we have is commonality, dare I say it "standards".

"Oh, yes we do too have those." it will be argued. And I will agree, the solutions have standards in the same way that an organization with 10 priorities has any priorities.  And the challenge we face in replacing 10 with 1 is best summarized by this (de-facto) standard response.

Uses with Permission from XKCD


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