Behind me you’ll see something that, unfortunately, is very rare to see in healthcare. I’m going to step out of the picture and pan so you can see what is behind me.

These are paper charts. Paper medical records. We’re going to talk a little bit more about electronic medical records and why what you see here at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma is what we prefer.

If you’ve been to a hospital or physician’s office in the last few years, you’ve very likely encountered a healthcare professional who, rather than looking at you while they ask questions, is staring at a computer screen, typing wildly, trying to check all of the boxes that are in front of them.

These electronic medical records are in use because the Federal government pays physicians less money if they don’t use them. Physicians also bought these systems with the idea that much of the money they spent on the systems would be rebated and refunded to them by you, the taxpayers, if they met certain reporting criteria – namely that they would betray most, if not all, of your confidential patient information to the Federal government.

Reports of hospitals spending hundreds of millions of dollars on these electronic medical records systems are everywhere. All over the country, hospitals are spending outrageous sums on these systems.

I’ve done some calculations (and I’m going to glance up at a board here), but recently I heard that a local hospital spent over $100 million – let’s just call it $100 million – on a new electronic medical records system.

I decided to look at some of our prices here at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, let’s say, for a gallbladder surgery. How many gallbladder surgeries could be purchased for $100 million (or more than that) spent on one hospital’s electronic medical records system?

$100 million divided by $5,865 (our price for gallbladder surgery) = 17,050 gallbladder surgeries. I’m pretty sure that’s all of the gallbladder surgeries done not just in Oklahoma for the entire year, but possibly for the entire region.

How many tonsillectomies could be performed for $100 million? That answer is 32,786 tonsillectomies.

How many hysterectomies could be performed for $100 million? The answer is 12,500 hysterectomies. I’m pretty sure that’s more than the number of hysterectomies done in the state of Oklahoma in an entire year, probably in this entire region, possibly for the entire country.

This money is not being spent on healthcare. This money is going to cronies who are selling these software systems, the purchase of which, is mandatory.

I wanted to show you that we do not use electronic medical records, give you some idea of what these systems cost, and how much healthcare could be purchased with this money, rather than flushed down the toilet of cronyism.

We’ll see you next time.