My Programmable Self Behavior Change Reading list has been one of my most popular posts.
I still think any Health IT expert should be well-versed in behavior change science, since so many healthcare issues boil down to behavior change problems… either for patients or providers or both.
But the other day, I was having drinks during HIMSS with Keith Toussaint, Matt Burton (both Health IT rock stars at Mayo Clinic) and Sulie Anna Tay (a rising star at Cisco). Soon talk turned to “have you read this, have you read that” (you know how those conversations usually play out) and we started creating a “Required Reading List for Health IT”. I forgot about it until today, when I needed to find some references in one of the books… and realized I had left the project undo. So here are my required reading list for Health IT and healthcare reform, in no particular order:
- Goal Play!: Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field (kindle) Paul Levy is probably the most famous hospital CEO blogger even since he no longer runs a hospital. This book is strangely named. Personally I would have named it “Transparency as a competitive advantage in Healthcare”.
- Paul also wrote: How a Blog Held Off the Most Powerful Union in America (kindle) which is a little more on point with the title.
- Any technologist should be familiar with the Innovators Dilemma (kindle), Rework (kindle), Lean Startup (kindle) and the Valve Software Employee handbook.
- But Clayton Christensen also wrote a book on Healthcare called the Innovator’s Prescription (kindle) before Obamacare came into play, this book was widely regarded as off-the-mark with its impractical recommendations, although it definitely identified the right problems. With the changes that Obamacare brought, many of the suggestions here are more plausible, its become a better book as a result.
- A good summary of patient safety issues can be found in Cautious Care a guide for patients which is intended to be written to help patients police safety problems.
- But the best book I know on patient safety is How we do harm (kindle) by Otis Brawley. Otis was right at the center of the controversy around PSA tests and high-dose chemo-therapy (both widely recommended procedures proven to have little value compared to alternatives).
- The Decision Tree (kindle) by Thomas Goetz is a good introduction to the promise of personalized medicine.
- If you are looking for a solid introduction to the healthcare system as a whole, I recommend Understanding Healthcare because pictures help for dry topics.
- If you want to understand Obamacare and healthcare reform, the best book on this is Healthcare Reform a comic book from Jonathan Gruber the economist who helped design both the Romneycare (i.e. Massachusetts) and Obamacare. Its really hard to see how everything fits together with Obamacare and I constantly refer back to this book. The alternative is reading the ACA directly, or using the excellent ACA summary from Kaiser Family Foundation. But the man made a comic book for God’s sake, and that kind of awesomeness needs to be supported.
- Lessor known by awesome is If Disney Ran Your Hospital (kindle) by Fred Lee. Its just what it sounds like and just that cool.
- Try to find a cheaper version of Information and Medicine by Marsden Blois.
Principles of Health Interoperability HL7 and SNOMED (kindle) is also pricy but worth it.
- The CDA book (kindle) by the incomparable Motorcycle Guy Keith Boone. The MotorCycle Guy blog is basically the best way to track progress in healthcare standards BTW.
- The dark side of EHR systems (EHR born medical errors) is covered in the innocuously named Clinical Information Systems: Overcoming Adverse Consequences (kindle) by the leader in the field Dean Sittig
- (update Oct 2020):
- “Where does it hurt?” from Jonathan Bush, the founder and former CEO of EHR vendor Athenahealth, is about how to make money by carving waste out of the healthcare system.
- Never-Ending Challenge of Engineering: Admiral H.G. Rickover in his own words. Is a surprisingly relevant reference for engineering ethics, especially in the context of patient safety with data.
- Fearless Organization by Amy C Edmondson is as good a place to start regarding the principles of Patient Safety as any.
- I also suggest reading Etsy’s Debriefing Facilitation Guide for Blameless Postmortems blog post which is a lovely refactoring of patient safety principles for software companies. Etsy has also released a “debriefing guide” which is excellent start at applying patient safety principles to technology environments. My organization has forked this guide and one the main improvements we have made is to linkify and expand the references, which you might find useful