Drew Madden is one of the leading figures in the healthcare IT space today. As the president and CEO of Evergreen Healthcare Partners, Madden is singularly committed to combating the ever-increasing costs that have characterized the U.S. healthcare system over the last 40-plus years.
Madden has stated numerous times that there simply is no excuse for the dismal state of U.S. healthcare. He cites the fact that Americans currently pay more than two and a half times what citizens of the average OECD country pay. And for all of this expense, Americans often receive worse healthcare than their developed-nation counterparts. This, says Madden, is completely unacceptable for the richest nation that has ever existed.
But getting to the bottom of why healthcare costs have spiraled out of control since the 1970s is not an easy task. After more than 20 years in the industry, Madden has developed a number of concrete ideas and solutions to this dire problem. One of the things that Madden has identified as being a chief cause to the spiraling costs of healthcare is somewhat surprising to those who are not involved in the industry. Madden says that issues of cross-compatibility between hospital platforms and networks, particularly with respect to electronic hospital records, is a huge driver of unnecessary costs.
Madden says that someone who is from Wisconsin who ends up having heart trouble in Florida can cause serious problems for many healthcare networks. That’s because the treating physician in Florida may not have any access to that patient’s medical records from Wisconsin. In the case of emergency medicine, this can lead to having to reperform extremely costly tests, some of which, like transesophageal echocardiography, essentially amount to surgical procedures. The total amount of money wasted on these tests, which are absolutely necessary from the physician’s standpoint because they provide them with crucial information, can easily run into the six figures.
Madden says that solving these cross-compatibility issues can be very difficult. But his firm, Evergreen Healthcare Partners, is helping healthcare networks across the country to resolve these problems, one step at a time.