The Digitization of Health Information: Why Primary Care Is At A Moneyball Moment

Jaan Sidorov

Posted 1/17/11 on Disease Management Care Blog

In a yesterday’s post, the Disease Management Care Blog used Edie Weiner’s video presentation on digitization and commoditization to launch into its own version of health care futurism.  While it struggled with notions of “opportunity costs,” it concluded that a) highly evolved patient data bases, b) biometric monitoring systems, c) artifical intelligence-based decision support and d) growing consumer acceptance of informatics will make the need for many traditional outpatient visits obsolete.

Thanks to inspiration from the movie Moneyball, the DMCB explains why.  The movie chronicles the decision of the Oakland A’s General Manager (or “GM” played by Brad Pitt) to apply a more scientific approach to recruiting players. Eschewing the largely subjective evaluation process used by his veteran scouts, the GM decides to focus on a few key player statistics.  As a result, he recruits players with high “on base” metrics and comparatively low salary demands. Success follows, and not only does he build a championship team, but he is offered a job with the legendary Red Sox. There is a telling scene filmed at Fenway Park in which the Sox owner salutes the new revolutionary approach to baseball by giving a small soliloquy on the merits of adapting or dying. Building a winning team is no longer a highly tailored and subjective approach to individual players, but data, information and insights.

Lesson learned.

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