Shutting down the ‘sneakernet’ with interoperability
When we were young physicians in training, computers had yet to take a leading role in clinical care. Data about patients, like vital signs, lab results and medication orders were not delivered electronically, but instead by a ‘sneakernet,’ of physicians, nurses, aids and technicians who would carry these notes, reports, files and even single numbers hastily scribbled on loose bits of paper, or even their own scrubs, from one location to another.
It might surprise you that we still rely on this sneakernet every day in ‘modern’ healthcare. How did the communications revolution that transformed industries such as banking, entertainment and telecom somehow leave healthcare behind?