The New York Times ‘Health’ section profiles Denmark’s advances in using telehealth both in the home and in hospitals as a sterling example for the US. Their national healthcare started using EHRs over a decade ago and their information system is considered to be the most efficient in the world, saving doctors an average of 50 minutes per day (Commonwealth Fund) and $120 million per year (HIMSS). Read through though, and see that even in Denmark home telehealth is still in early days, EMRs have compatibility issues, doctors are not that adept at IT but systems work better when the staff helps in the design–just like elsewhere. The Danes have a national patient registry, which US Federal and state privacy laws would restrict or not permit at present. And their population is fairly homogeneous and small–at 6 million, New York City minus the borough of Queens. Article.
But MSNBC in this article does a very good job at laying the blame at the feet of consumers first. People want certain things like transparency, control and security. But then: companies want return on their investment, which may take years. Insurers don’t want to foot the bill. And states have regulations and privacy statues aplenty. So it’s not us. We are clearly not Danes.