Electronic health records have come under scrutiny lately, and that has continued this week at HIMSS15, the annual conference of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Here's some of what's been addressed at the conference so far:Read More
Up at 5AM: The 5AM Solutions Blog
Lab results must be returned to patients who request them
These Map of Biomedicine blog posts have been focused on how diagnostic tests get to market, from an interesting biological discovery to a test that your doctor can order to help guide your treatment or diagnose disease. We saw that there were different ways this could happen, with or without the involvement of the Food and Drug Administration.Read More
The Network for Public Health Law is holding their 2012 Public Health Law conference this week in Atlanta, focusing on the Practical Approaches to Critical Challenges in Public Health Law, and I have been in attendance. Having worked in healthcare for over fifteen years, and reflecting upon the topics thus far, it was clear that we all go about our daily lives working hard and doing everything we can to accomplish our projects in Health IT with efficiency, and effectiveness, intent upon delivering value to our customers. But what struck me, was how little we really take time to think about the impact the work we are doing has upon our individual lives and those of our families.
Tags: EHR, electronic health records, EMR, electronic health record, electronic medical records, Network for Public Health Law, VLER, virtual lifetime electronic record, iEHR, integrated electronic health record
In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) act was created (as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to stimulate the migration of medical records from a paper model to an electronic one. HITECH includes Meaningful Use (MU), which are guidelines to encourage and enforce the use of electronic health records (EHRs) by doctors, clinics, hospitals, and care delivery systems throughout the country. There are three key components that define meaningful use:
Friday, March 16th, marked the release of CONNECT 3.3, an open source product that enables health information exchange, securely, across the Internet. This product is used by Health Information Exchange (HIE) organizations, hospitals, healthcare institutions, and government agencies around the world. The release of CONNECT 3.3 is important news to healthcare, as the software helps the country achieve the goal of sharing medical information to improve healthcare and lower costs. CONNECT’s release also was a big day for several of us at 5AM Solutions. For nearly the past year, several colleagues and I have been working tirelessly on the CONNECT project, which is a program of the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), an E-Government initiative managed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Assembling and implementing the varied requirements of several government agencies, the open source community, and standards bodies sometimes led to late nights and long days. We enjoyed the work and the people we got to work with, but being a software engineer often means that you are down in the trenches, which can cause you to lose perspective on the big picture of what you are working on. After the release last week, we had the opportunity to lift our heads up and once again look at what CONNECT really means to healthcare.
SOPA certainly made a big name for itself over the past few weeks. The Stop Online Piracy Act, and it’s Senate sister bill PIPA (Protect IP Act) has been halted in both the House and the Senate after a day of protest from thousands of websites worldwide, including Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit. These web giants encouraged their users to stand up and write their representatives urging them to vote against this nasty piece of legislation which would enable censorship over the internet by private corporations who believe that foreign websites are linking and hosting content that they own.
From my first encounter as a kid with Nostradamus, I’ve been a sucker for predictions about the future. And it doesn’t hurt if they’re couched in scary, end-of-times imagery. Shout out to all my Mayan Calendar fans – it’s time to party like it’s 199 … uh, I mean 2012. Things seldom turn out the way we think they will, but it’s still fun to peer into the crystal ball of the future and make your best guess. So, to start the year off right (since it’s probably our last), I give you the gift of the future of Health IT, as seen through a glass darkly on the Interweb:
Information Week reports the following predictions from IDC Health Insights:
Electronic Health Records will be in widespread usage by US providers as 2012 comes to a close. Sadly, all of the providers will be destroyed in the cataclysmic end-of-times before they can collect on their "Meaningful Use" bonuses.
Successful Accountable Care Organizations will emerge from private or public-private initiatives. Only to be driven back deep underground by giant rocks raining down from outer space.
A minimum of 70% of health insurance and technology resources will be directed to improving consumer engagement. Unfortunately, 100% of the consumers will be busily engaged in extinction from earthquakes, tsunamis, and the plague.
Robert Rowley of Practice Fusion offers the following predictions:
Usage of web-based Electronic Health Records will continue to grow. ...Then stop suddenly on December 21st.
Real connectivity will make significant progress using point-to-point solutions, such as Direct, and platform systems, such as … that’s right, Practice Fusion. With ultimate connectivity being achieved on the 21st as space rocks mash humanity into one big mass of human jelly.
Anonymized “big data” from electronic health records will significantly increase our medical knowledge. Until anonymized “big rocks” significantly decrease it by force.
Consumer data will flourish, and become linked to personal medical data. That’s right, our data will outlive us. Some people fear the rise of the machines, but it’s really the data we should fear as it has the real advantage on us.
Kaiser Health News predicts that 2012 will be a big year in healthcare because of the continuing impact of the 2010 federal health law. While, in case you can't tell by now, I predict it will be big because of all the apocalyptic dying and destruction.
Seriously, though, what are your big predictions? Where do you think Health IT will go in 2012? I’d love to hear from you. Comment away below...Then we can all look down from Mayan Heaven in 2013 and see how right we were.
-Michael Hunter, 5AM Solutions
Whether you call it a personal health record (PHR) or a personally-controlled health record (PcHR), the notion of a person-centered, self-managed electronic medical record is seen as both an essential byproduct/outcome of health IT and its core value. I certainly yearn for the day where I am at the center of my electronic health record, flowing my health information through and among my physicians, so that my entire health care team has a clear and complete view of my health. But away from people like me in the “health IT” field, apart from the DC echo chamber, do people care about managing their health, digitally? ...Or at all? Are PHRs on the 2012 “in” or “out” list?