So over the past week, while I’ve been working on edits to my dissertation and prepping for a job interview on the other coast, I’ve been thinking a lot about the great responses you guys gave to my first post here. Before I go off in another direction, I want to reply to some of them.
Health care is a complex system. And American health care is a distinct beast from British or French or Canadian health care. We must approach it with some humility, and study the way pieces fit with each other and operate in their environments before we start changing things. There’s a reason the ACA works the way it does — stepwise efforts and pilot programs are a much more sane approach than massive delivery overhaul. The same goes for EHR.
Here’s one of the most important things to remember too: It’s not just that it’s a complex system in the way it’s used in each location. It’s also the second most decentralized industry in the country, second only to the floral industry. For much of healthcare’s history, it’s been a cottage industry. The introduction of major government oversight, in the forms of Medicare and Medicaid, and the emergence of HMOs that paved the way for the corporatization and bureaucratization of medicine have done a lot to change the landscape. But much of medicine is still practiced in those small private practices. It’s that kind of a complex system.
So, in case you didn’t catch this last week, I’m blogging over here about EHR, healthcare, organization theory, and more.
I can’t stop thinking about Japan.
Every morning I wake up, and I’ve got a to do list the length of my arm: dissertation. job interview. job applications. packing. storage unit. moving. this. that. The anxiety is pretty intense these days.
But then I grab my phone or my computer to check for news on Japan, and all I can think about is how lucky I am, how good things are right now where I’m sitting. Every day my heart breaks in ways I can’t articulate. There’s something about what’s happening right now, on the other side of the world, in a country I have never visited, that’s affecting me in a way I can’t explain. Yes, I’ve felt this way about other disasters, both natural and manmade, but somehow this one? This one has me by the throat.
I want to help. Most of us do, I think. I’ve given some money to the Red Cross, but it feels like scooping up a dixie cup of that huge tsunami wave and standing hopelessly, helplessly. I thought about contributing some art, raising some more money, and I love that other artists are doing that. I love that people are doing. I even have a photo I want to contribute, so perhaps I will.
But I want to do more. And then I saw this, when my friend Tea tweeted it the other day.
An expat named Jason Kelly who lives and works in Japan has set this up. There are guidelines to explain what this is, why it exists, and how it works - because you need to do it a specific way - but here’s a bit on info from his site:
Here’s a way you can help Japan, directly and meaningfully.
Hundreds of readers in the United States and other parts of the world have asked me how they can help the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Japan on March 11. There are many places to donate money, and that’s a wonderful thing to do, but direct aid is also cherished by victims.
My office location is perfect for managing a direct-aid operation because it’s close enough to the primary damage zone that we can physically get there to help, but far enough away that mail delivery is working. So we quickly set ourselves up to run this operation, called Socks for Japan.
I don’t know about you, but I love socks. LOVE them. Especially a brand new pair of socks. I find them super comforting in the most ordinary of circumstances, so the thought of receiving a fresh pair from some stranger thousands of miles away when I’ve lost everything - EVERYTHING - and am suddenly living in pretty unpleasant (and probably damp) circumstances makes me want to cry for the thousandth time this week.
The other wonderful part of the Socks For Japan program is this:
Enclose a short care letter. Japanese people treasure letters, especially ones from foreigners. Victims of the 1995 Hanshin quake in Kobe said that care letters were among the most uplifting items they received. If you enclose a care letter, provide a copy of it for each pair of socks you send.
Come on Tumblr. How many millions of us are there on here? Please go to the Socks For Japan website to find the exact instructions.
Let’s send socks - and a whole lot of love - to Japan.
Hey everyone. I’ve started writing about my work and associated things that interest me over here. (Still working on a name.)
I’ll be writing about electronic health records and the healthcare system, but I’ll also be writing about organizations, social networks, culture, and other interesting stuff from a hybrid practical/teeny bit theoretical sociological perspective. I’m particularly interested in talking about what I’ve learned from observing people at work as they transition to a new technology that disrupts a major part of a trained professional routine.
Hope you’ll join me!
It’s 2011. Why isn’t every single doctor in this country on electronic health records?
You’ve probably wondered that at some point. When you’ve gone to the doctor and wondered why, as she flips through a manila folder, she doesn’t just get a computer system. Or why her information can’t easily be sent to another doctor and no one knows what anyone else is doing and it is so, so frustrating.
Or maybe you’ve probably read articles in the news or even posts here on tumblr, questioning and arguing and demanding the healthcare system get off its duff and get digitized. Some of the people who’ve written about it are policy people, some are in health care, some are doctors themselves. Many argue vehemently about how much we need EHR and how ridiculous it is that we don’t yet have it.
- Several photographs; Big red wall at Patterson Perk Coffee Shop. Baltimore, MD. February 2009
- Make mama proud; Book display on Mother’s coffee table. Childhood home, Pennsylvania. Ongoing exhibition.
Awards & Honors
- “Nice Camera, Asshole,” Woman in Pacific Grove, California. Winter 2011.
- Obligatory Proud Wife’s Cheek Smooch, Back Patio. Monterey. Winter 2010-every so often.
- A Bottle of Fruit Punch, Unseen assailant in Marble Hill. Baltimore. Fall 2009. Though technically that was meant for Patrick Joust.
- “You’re some kinda photographic guru,” Comment by Drunk outside 7-Up Bar. Baltimore. Fall 2009.
- Facebook profile picture photographer for Drunk Couple in Fells Point, Ltd. Summer 2009.
- Harassing tourists, bums, transients, church-goers and unsuspecting strangers. Intermittently, when the mood strikes.
- Manly social documentarian in a dream I had after nachos and Two Buck Chuck. Last Wednesday, 2011.
- The School of Button Mashery, with a major in Trial and Error. The Streets of Baltimore. 2007-2010.
This guy’s photos are stellar too. On top of the being funny.