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Dog Lovers and HCIT

August 29, 2008
by Joe Bormel
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WSJ has an article relevant to all HCIT aware CXOs, especially dog owners. It's by "The Numbers Guy", Carl Bialik and it's titled, "The Seven-Year Glitch." It explores the "Man-to-Dog Lifespan Ratio," i.e. seven dog years. What's interesting and relevant is how very high level summary data has been converted to a gross simplification, and how different constituencies (may) promote their spin on it for marketing reasons. For example, it's hypothesized that the whole concept was invented by veterinarians to increase office visits. Another interesting and relevant elaboration is sampling bias. Data from animal hospitals predictably will sample dogs with shorter lifespans. Data from aggressive dog owners will show longer lifespans than average. Think about this in comparrison with HCIT ROI predictions (sources of data, assumptions, biases), or other recently elaborated HCI blog topics like the value of going to ICD-10. It's pretty easy to see the context that our issues have a lot in common with dog years, both mythology as well as deeper, underlying true drivers that are obscured through the necessary simplification process. ... oh yeah, not to mention marketing goals. Anyone want to comment on the relevance to lifespan of an EMR? (as in "

Kids, we're getting a new EMR")

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Joe Bormel

Healthcare IT Consutant

Joe Bormel

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