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Friday, December 11, 2009

Medicine in the Matrix

"That's part of your problem, you haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies." —Davis (Steve Martin), Grand Canyon, from Frederick Holliday's e-mail signature

Fred taught me how to look at movies: to appreciate them as stories and as commentary on our world. When Jen McCabe asked me design the art on a jacket for her to wear to conferences, I thought of the Matrix and how much it applies to the world of health and health IT.

If you do not work in medicine or have not been touched by medical tragedy or chronic care, you are living in the matrix. You have a regular life where talk of EMR and PHR and HITECH may not mean much of anything. You might not even be aware you currently have to pay to get a copy of your medical record. But those of us who have been touched, know we are trapped within a Data-stream. When a medical tragedy occurs time stops. The matrix goes on and you are no longer part of it. You stand outside. You have fallen through the rabbit hole. Do you want to take the red pill or the blue one? Or like a good epatient to you go and find out what in the world are they asking you to take?

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