Sisyphus’ Error

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king punished in Tartarus by being cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. While an iconic representation of constant frustration. He has made a critical error. He pushed the boulder back up the hill the second time.

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So here’s the improved plan. Try it once and when the darn thing rolls back to the bottom. Leave it there. 

So this to me has direct application in the monster eHealth projects taken on by various forms of federal and provincial governments. There is “The Plan”. The plan is a fully integrated coast-to-coast, Electronic Health Record that allows every citizen and the people they provide explicit consent to to access and update their information.

Very noble. But it’s a very big rock, a very steep hill and quite frankly the combined muscle of the governments and citizenry lack the power to push it up the hill. But for  each time we try, we vacuum another $100 Million or so from the tax payer’s wallet.  So here is the plan. Let the big rock just stay at bottom of the hill. Let’s see if we can find small hills with smaller rocks to push on.

When 95%+ of health care occurs within 100 miles of a patient’s home, is it really important that my Toronto Health Record is instantly accessible in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Likely not.  But could the hospitals and clinics in my neighbourhood agree to either federate or centralize data? (Amalga technology or Proprietary HIS respectively)

I think so yes. As both a consultant and a tax payer to these endeavours, let us start with some common sense concepts. Affordable, pragmatic and that can be completed in a timely fashion.

It’s time to stop pushing on the big rock.

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