As a Doc who has passions for both healthcare and innovative technology, I had high hopes for the HealthIT Act after decades of manual processes. I envisioned caregivers/providers with the ability collaborate far beyond our immediate circles, and be able to leverage data into not only enabling earlier disease identification and perhaps cures – but also the ability to get a 360 on both the disease or any health trend – but also be able to leverage health expertise nationally, and globally.
Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, with providers investing and billions of tax dollars spent…we missed the mark. Though Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems were primarily designed as data repositories of independent recording of transactional patient encounters or diagnostic testing, the EMR systems are generally designed by and for the benefit of the EMR company and in response to both regulatory proprietary business interests. The meaningful benefits were to actually be received by patients. EMRs are simply not “playing nice”….at the expense of our industry.
I read this article of which resonated with me, reflecting my views:
Implementing clinical information systems at healthcare organizations can be a jarring experience. And when those systems conflict with long-used work processes for accomplishing clinical tasks, it s more than annoying. It can make an IT project a long, uphill slog.
The Meaningful Use incentification program dramatically increased utilization program dramatically increased the number of medical providers using EMR systems in the past few years although the criteria achieving and documenting Meaningful Use of electronic medical records emphasizes recording public health information information of interest to the finding Federal government but not the information generally required by most healthcare providers. As a result the EMR companies have developed methods to adapt to the MU regulations rather than to the evolving clinical needs of medical providers.
A second issue has been the relative scarcity of Clinical Informatists or MDs with training and experience in the design and operations of EMR systems. The 10×10 program and the ABMPM Board Certification in Clinical Informatics has engaged myself any other physicians in designing more clinically oriented solutions emphasizing meaningful collaboration between all healthcare stakeholders including, patients, providers, payors and regulators.
Until the obstacles to data interoperability is achieved, there is a need for independent Collaboration Platforms that facilitate interactive sharing of information and shared vision of treatment plans and health maintenance plans by all stakeholders within disparate health information systems. Patients do not select their doctors by EMR system and medical providers in different EMR systems cannot collaborate about their mutual patients.
There is a pressing need for a collaboration method that places the needs of the patient first. There are health IT methods that could facilitate collaboration between medical providers is disparate EMR systems. It is time to leverage HIT to facilitate Meaningful Collaboration(TM) or interactive medical consultation and exchange rather than large data dumps utilizing CCD files (Continuity of Care Documents).
In upcoming BLOG posts, I will discuss how a healthcare collaboration platform could enhance interoperability.