America's Ebola Control Strategy: "Let's hope nothing really bad happens"

Authors note: I would like to express several thoughts I have on the subject of Ebola, but I don’t have time today to blend them all together with smooth transitions.  However, I do feel that they are important enough to comment upon, so please excuse me, as I sacrifice writing quality in order to get the job done.  Not proofreading either.  Spelling, grammar errors, screw ‘em, you’ll know what I mean, deal with it.

Imagine this:  You’re driving down the road, quite a ways from home in your old 4x4, and you begin to notice it’s starting to act kind of strange.  It could be making a funny noise, misfiring, the needle on a gauge creeping into the red zone, or developing a vibration.  It doesn’t matter what it is, you’re miles from home and you don’t have any tools with you.  What are you going to do?  

You might pull over to the side of the road, check things over to see if you can determine exactly what the problem is, but since you are powerless to fix it at the moment, chances are that you are going to do exactly what you would have done if you never stopped at all - just keep driving and hope nothing really bad happens.  What else can you do?  Pay a $300 towing bill?  No way.  Just keep on truckin’ - and hope nothing really bad happens.

“Hope nothing really bad happens”, that my friends, is our country’s unofficial Ebola control strategy.  In defense of the people in charge of our nation’s Ebola strategy, they are just like a guy miles from home, having problems with his truck, they don’t have the (or at least have enough) tools to fix things.  They might claim that they do, but they do not, and even if they did, there is so much disagreement on what to do and how to go about doing it, they not going to be able to lift open the hood on this, let alone start grabbing tools from the box.  Check this out:

source: Fox News

CDC Chief: Why I don't support a travel ban to combat Ebola outbreak

The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States has caused some to call on the United States to ban travel for anyone from the countries in West Africa facing the worst of the Ebola epidemic.
That response is understandable. It’s only human to want to protect ourselves and our families. We want to defend ourselves, so isn’t the fastest, easiest solution to put up a wall around the problem?
But, as has been said, for every complex problem, there’s a solution that’s quick, simple, and wrong.
We don't want to isolate parts of the world, or people who aren't sick, because that's going to drive patients with Ebola underground, making it infinitely more difficult to address the outbreak.

So what are left with?  You guessed it -  hoping nothing really bad happens.  Do you all feel secure and shit now?  You want to feel even worse?  Keep reading.  You see things are worse than the analogy I used at the beginning of this piece. It’s more like this:  You’re riding down the road, miles from home, in your old 4x4, but one of your buddies is at the wheel, and he’s the kind of guy who just can’t resist full throttle driving and doing burnouts at every stop sign.  In other words, he’s satisfying his own selfish desires at the expense of your wallet and your (and everyone else’s) safety.  What do I mean?  Check this out:

source: The New York Post

An Ebola goof and an Obama crony

An Ebola goof and an Obama crony
Health care workers wait for the arrival of a possible Ebola patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

A Dallas hospital’s bizarre bungle of the first US case of Ebola leaves me wondering: Is someone covering up for a crony billionaire Obama donor and her controversy-plagued, taxpayer-subsidized electronic medical records company?
Last week, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital revealed in a statement that a procedural flaw in its online health-records system led to possibly deadly miscommunication between nurses and doctors.
The facility sent Ebola victim Thomas Duncan home despite showing signs of the disease — only to admit him with worse symptoms three days later.
Hospital officials, who came forward “in the interest of transparency,” initially cited workflow and information-sharing problems for the botch.
“Protocols were followed by both the physician and the nurses,” the statement noted. “However, we have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records interacted in this specific case.”
Mysteriously, after taking special care to get its facts straight before releasing the statement, the hospital backed off a day later.
The very specific communications flaw in the medical-records software — which apparently had prevented some staff from accessing Duncan’s travel history from Liberia — suddenly disappeared.
What really happened?
Here’s what I can tell you for sure: Texas Health contracts with Epic Systems for its electronic-medical-records (EMR) system — and the Dallas hospital isn’t the only client that has complained about its costly information-sharing flaws and interoperability failures.
Epic was founded by billionaire Judy Faulkner, a top Obama donor whose company is the dominant EMR player in the US health-care market.
The firm’s Top 10 PAC recipients are all Democratic or lefty outfits, from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (nearly $230,000) to the DNC Services Corp. (nearly $175,000) and the America’s Families First Action Fund super-PAC ($150,000).
Faulkner, an Obama campaign-finance bundler, served as an adviser to David Blumenthal.
He’s the White House health-information-tech guru in charge of dispensing the EMR subsidies that Faulkner pushed President Obama to adopt. Faulkner also served on the same committee Blumenthal chaired.
Cozy arrangement, that.
Epic and other large firms lobbied aggressively for nearly $30 billion in federal subsidies for their companies under the 2009 stimulus package. The law penalizes medical providers who fail to comply with the mandate.
Epic has been the subject of rising industry and provider complaints about its antiquated, closed-end system.
When Texas Health released its first statement on the software glitch in the Ebloa case, Jack Shaffer, a health-care-IT guru, quickly snarked on Twitter: “Guess Epic can’t share data even with itself!”
Until recently, health-care providers say, the company refused to share data with doctors and hospitals using alternative platforms. Now it charges exorbitant fees to enable the very interoperability the Obama EMR mandate was supposed to ensure.
In July, The Boston Globe reported that there is still “no safety oversight of the vendors who sell” EMR and EHR systems.
One malpractice-insurance group revealed that it found 147 cases “in which electronic health records contributed to ‘adverse events’ that affected patients” — 46 resulted in death.
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) cited criticisms of Epic at a congressional hearing this summer and asked: “Is the government getting its money’s worth?
It may be time for the committee to take a closer look at the practices of vendor companies in this space, given the possibility that fraud may be perpetrated on the American taxpayer.” Not to mention the possibility of an impending Ebola epidemic.
The AMA president-elect, Dr. Steven Stack, told Modern Healthcare magazine this month that Epic’s software architecture “often leaves out key information and corrupts data in transit.”
Yikes. Imagine if some of that key data had to do with an Ebola carrier’s travel history. Oh, wait.

Epic Systems.  I live a mere forty miles from that outfit, and years ago, I smelled a rat.  Something just didn’t seem right.  All anyone with any insight, has to do is drive past it, and they would immediately suspect that something is wrong there. For those of you who don’t live so close by, take a look at this joint.

Epic Systems "campus"

At first glance, you might think that this Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch, or part of Disney World, but it’s not.  It’s the Epic Systems “campus”.  That’s what they call it.  The “campus”.  Do you know of any other businesses (at least business that are not gouging their captive customers) that have “campuses”, “campi?”  No, they have buildings, not campuses.  Epic Systems is a healthcare software company.  One would think that they could easily get by with a building that looked something like this:


but nooooo, they felt they needed to have a campus.  Now a campus is a bit more pricey than a building.  How is something like this even possible?  Wouldn’t a competitor with a lower cost building be able to move in on a company with such high overhead?  Well, that’s the problem.  There is no competition.  Epic has a virtual monopoly in the medical records/ billing business so they can charge their customers whatever they want for a product/service that’s far from perfect.

So Epic has got the hospitals by the balls and we’re all paying for it through unnecessarily high cost to our pocketbooks and now, our health.  You wanna know healthcare cost are so high?  It’s not the insurance companies, it’s not the number of uninsured people, it’s not any of the bullshit you usually hear about.  It’s that the hospitals are getting screwed by the vendors of the products and services they use (it’s not just Epic) and the Hospitals are screwing their patients and insurance companies, (I’m sure you notice that over the last several decades, hospitals now have “campuses” too.) but all of us are the people who pay for it in the end.  Let’s just hope nothing really bad happens.  Oh shit, it already did.  Well, let’s hope we don’t all get Ebola.

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