More garbage in, more garbage out

In January 2009, President-elect Barack Obama said his administration would push the healthcare industry to implement universal use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for all Americans within five years. He said, “it won’t just save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs; it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health-care system.”

Well, here we are more than six years later. We certainly have more expensive, mandatory healthcare coverage, thanks to the partisan Affordable Health Care Act. But no universal EMR. Furthermore, the number of deaths by medical error still reaches almost 500,000 per year.

It’s not that I think using EMR is the saving grace for all of mainstream medicine. It’s not. But it exemplifies the mainstream’s insistence that throwing more and more money and technology at every medical problem will solve it.

When I was an Associate Director at Walter Reed Army Medical Center during the early 1990s, the Army Medical Corps alone was forced to waste $600 million trying to develop an EMR using a “light pen.” Apparently, health professionals couldn’t use a computer keyboard. Instead, they would continue to write out information in illegible scrawl with this magical light pen. The computer would then somehow translate the scrawl into useable data. It was a complete waste, except for the investors in this ridiculous technology–some of the same group behind Gardasil, the ridiculous HPV vaccine.

Our healthcare system is a discordant mass (and mess) of information recorded in different ways in different places. Putting all this data onto EMRs was supposed to provide a seamless picture for each individual patient.

Decades from now, after billions more of inefficient expenditures, we may actually get a national EMR system in the U.S. But it’s not likely to include really informative data regarding health and wellness–such as waist circumference, muscular-skeletal fitness, and vital capacity. In other words, “garbage in, garbage out,” when it comes to electronic medical records.

Plus, such large collections of data lend themselves to “fishing expeditions,” more euphemistically called “data mining.”

Here is where we turn over discovery of new information to statisticians–without a clue as to the biological plausibility or medical significance (or applicability) of statistical associations.

So, these are some of the spoiled fruits of hundreds of billions of tax dollars invested in high-tech medical research over the past generation.

The longer I study health and healing, the more I’m convinced of the uselessness of most data about disease spit out by mindless statisticians.

One of the most important pieces of data you can have when it comes to truly individualized disease prevention and treatment is to know your “emotional type.”

It turns out most chronic diseases Americans face today have an emotional, mind-body link. In fact, your “emotional type” determines how susceptible you are to acquiring these diseases.

My colleague Mike Jawer and I developed a psychometric system that can quickly and easily evaluate your “emotional type.”

Plus, you can find out which common disorders you are most susceptible to, as well as which treatments will work best for you based on your “emotional type,” in my book with Mike Jawer, Your Emotional Type: Finding Treatments That Work for You.

The sad truth is this kind of simple psychometric evaluation–used in virtually every other professional field except medicine–can help provide you with a personalized plan to good health. But few people know about it other than our readers.

Source:

Graedon, Joe, and Teresa Graedon. Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them. New York: Crown Archetype, 2011. Print.

“Doctor Errors Kill 500,000 Americans a year,” Newsmax (www.newsmax.com) 8/26/2014

“President-Elect Urges Electronic Medical Records in 5 Years,” CBS News (www.cbsnews.com) 1/9/2009


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