This clip from Brian Ahier – via O’Reilly – reminds me that the healthcare records business is still short of breath. Stimulus funding and reform seem only to further stigmatize the vacuum of leadership on innovative platforms and services.
…Bringing up the subject of digitizing his office, the country doctor says, “I don’t want all of my patients’ information put into this government database. I’m not going to be part of the government takeover of our health system.” I try to explain that the information is not stored in some giant government database. He certainly doesn’t want to hear about a federated architecture for health information exchange or standards and protocols for secure messaging. But when asked how clinical information gets to the emergency room for a doctor who is treating one of his patients, he says, “My nurse sends it by fax.”
So when I start to explain that his office can still keep the entire patient record, but sharing that data can be more securely and efficiently handled digitally, a light bulb seems to go on. When we talk about patient online access to their records and I draw the analogy to accessing your bank account over the Internet, we begin to turn a corner. We can leave the larger debate of health reform behind. It isn’t long before he starts to agree that it might just be possible for health IT to improve quality, patient safety and clinical outcomes while eventually lowering costs. Overcoming some of the fears based on false assumptions is the first battle, and now we can start to look at some of the serious technical barriers ahead in this journey.