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A Lack of Productivity

by Roy Smythe


Article excerpt

Health Care's Current "Productivity Paradox"

There has been a great deal of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth about the lack of generalized improvements in health care delivery as we approach the beginning of the end of initial electronic health record (EHR) adoption. For some, self-flagellation might be appropriately added when realizing that the purchase and implementation of such platforms can cost up to $70,000 per care provider.

Our take

GPT-additive Digital Technologies May Lead to EHR Productivity Realizations

General purpose technology (GPT) is a term referring to a movement, or significant paradigm shift, that has massive consequences for economic and social structures, says Roy Smythe, the author of this piece; he points to electricity and computers as two examples. In both cases, the introduction of these new technologies resulted in an initial productivity slowdown, and not the pick-up that might have been expected. Smythe argues that the same may be true of EHRs. One key problem—and opportunity—is that new technology can’t simply be dropped into old practices; it requires new thinking and additional new technology to achieve productivity impacts.

How does this relate to the promise of productivity improvement through EHRs? Healthcare organizations are at a point where the technology may be in place, but new practices have yet to be developed and supporting technologies are still emerging—“GPT-additive digital technologies” as Smythe calls them. Lenovo is a provider of these GPT-additive digital technologies; we’re confident that our innovations can help pave the way to more productive healthcare delivery.