Shining a light into the dark terminology stable

Two items that popped up this week nearly had editor Steve hopping back on his terminology hobbyhorse. The stable where he keeps it is a dark place where words like telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, telehealthcare, telemonitoring, and a host of other ‘teles’ interbreed in an apparent freelove fest. At the bidding of unwary writers they come galloping out in the colours of whichever meaning happened to be nearest the door at the time.

The two articles were:

What changes are needed to increase telecare uptake? (An Australian item about home telehealth monitoring)

Telehealth or Telehell? (A blog item, mostly about telemedicine, by a (retired?) doctor, Gary M Levin MD)

There is actually good, thoughtful content in them both, and they are worth reading. It’s just their loose use of the terminology that had started Steve wondering how the heck are these words ever going to be reined in.

Then someone shone a ray of light into the stable… (If on the front page, read more using the link below)

An $18 million blunder in TBI diagnosis?

Has an $18 million tool designed to gather information on combat traumatic brain injury and behavioral health failed in its mission? Starting in February 2009, Vangent (General Dynamics) won two successive contracts from the Military Health System for a TBI/BH assessment tool to fulfill a Department of Defense mandate “requiring neurocognitive readiness assessments for all service members within six months of deployment.” TBI is especially insidious as there may not be visible head wounds, and assessment has been difficult. The Vangent system should have been in place by now, as announced at last year’s HIMSS.