I have not been writing much the past few weeks due to other concerns, and will probably not write much this summer.
However, I have been commenting on various posts on other blogs. One resultant thread stands out as yet another example of a likely industry shill or sockpuppet defending the state of health IT, oddly at a blog on pharma (same blog as was the topic of tmy post "More 'You're Too Negative, And You Don't Provide The Solution To The Problems You Critique', This Time re: Pharma").
Industry-sponsored sockpuppetry is a form of stealth marketing or lobbying, through discreditation of detractors, although in a perverse form.
The following exchanges meet the sockpuppetry criteria once pointed out by business professional and HC Renewal reader Steve Lucas in 2010 in a post about an industry sockpuppet caught red-handed through IP forensics here:
... In reading this thread of comments I have to believe [anonymous commenter moniker] "IT Guy" is a salesperson. My only question is: Were you assigned this blog or did you choose it? We had this problem a number of years ago where a salesperson was assigned a number of blogs with the intent of using up valuable time in trying to discredit the postings.
In my very first sales class we learned to focus on irrelevant points, constantly shift the discussion, and generally try to distract criticism. I would say that HCR is creating heat for IT Guy’s employer and the industry in general.
I find it sad that a company would allow an employee to attack anyone in an open forum. IT Guy needs to check with his superiors to find out if they approve of this use of his time, and I hope he is not using a company computer, unless once again this attack is company sanctioned.
In the hopes that continued exposure of this nonsense can educate and thus help immunize against its effects, I present this:
At "In the Pipeline", a blog on medicinal chemistry (the science of drug making) and other pharma topics, a rebuttal to a claim that over 500,000 people (not 50K) might have died due to VIOXX was posted entitled "500,000 Excess Deaths From Vioxx? Where?"
That 500K possibility appeared on a UK site 'THE WEEK With the FirstPost' at "When half a million Americans died and nobody noticed." The author of the FirstPost piece started out by raising the point made by publisher Ron Unz that life in China might be more valued than that in the U.S., where major pharma problems and scandals generally meet what this blog calls "the anechoic effect." (In China, Unz noted, perpetrators of scandalous drug practices actually get arrested and suffer career repercussions.)
ARE American lives cheaper than those of the Chinese? It's a question raised by Ron Unz, publisher of The American Conservative, who has produced a compelling comparison between the way the Chinese dealt with one of their drug scandals – melamine in baby formula - and how the US handled the Vioxx aspirin-substitute disaster ... (Unz) "The inescapable conclusion is that in today's world and in the opinion of our own media, American lives are quite cheap, unlike those in China."
To which this confused misdirection came forth from the ether:
The linked article is discussing the poor state of "medical device records" because of a lack of uniform specifications with respect to Health Information Technology, i.e. how these technologies code data and the challenges of making the data obtained uniform across a wide variety of implementations and vendors. [Erroneous, incomplete misdirection - ed.]
It seems that the concern, far from being that Health Information Technology is "killing" people, is that the Medical Device Records may contain duplicate reports for adverse health events because of health care providers encoding the data more than once for each event. [What in the world? - ed.] This problem with replication exists because there are different health record systems where this data needs to be input, and perhaps the same patient uses different physicians who have different systems, but all of which are required to report adverse events. [I have little idea what this even means - ed.]
In other words, "Health Information Technology" is not some monolithic "device", and your conflation of "HIT" which is more properly an abstract term with the "devices" which are used to generate some forms of patient data is in my view the real distraction. [The "real" distraction from the ethical issues of the HIT experiment is terminology about medical devices? Misdirection again from the ethical issue, and of a perverse nature - ed.]
Yes, some of the "devices" (a blood pressure monitor for example) may have underlying issues, which the FDA regulations for "medical device records" are designed to identify. The FDA, as a governmental entity has no constitutional power to mandate certain devices or implementations are to be used. [Now we're in la-la land of misinformation and distraction- ed.] The power that the FDA does have is to inspect that the manufacturer of a device keeps appropriate medical device records (e.g. a lot of syringes, or a batch of formulated drug) and addresses any complaints about the device to the satisfaction of the FDA.
17. MIMD on May 31, 2012 8:51 PM writes...
It seems that the concern, far from being that Health Information Technology is "killing" people, is that the Medical Device Records may contain duplicate reports for adverse health events because of health care providers encoding the data more than once for each event
Yes, fix just that little problem and then the problems with clinical IT are solved! (Actually,I'm not even sure what you're referring to, but the evidence is that fixing it as you suggest is the cure.) [Sarcasm - ed.]
The FDA, as a governmental entity has no constitutional power to mandate certain devices or implementations are to be used.
You are also right about FDA. They were completely toothless even in this situation. [Sarcasm again - ed.]
18. MIMD on May 31, 2012 9:10 PM writes...
In other words, "Health Information Technology" is not some monolithic "device", and your conflation of "HIT" which is more properly an abstract term with the "devices" which are used to generate some forms of patient data is in my view the real distraction.
Those who conducted the Tuskegee experiments probably felt the same way.
It's all about definitions, not ethics, and not data - which FDA as well as IOM or the National Academies, our highest scientific body, among others, admits, as in the linked posts in #6, is quantitatively and structurally lacking on risks and harms.
I don't really mean to laugh at you, not knowing how little you really know about the Medical Informatics domain, but you bring to mind this Scott Adams adage on logical fallacy:
FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Example: My house is on fire! Quick, call the post office and tell them to hold my mail!
And with that, I move on, letting others enjoy the risible comments from surely to follow! :-)