Head nurse Diane L Gilworth said, “Patients think we talk to each other much more than we do.” The promise of EHRs and information interchange hasn’t been realized. –source
I’ve heard this type of statement on multiple occasions recently and I think it’s a really important observation to consider. Most patients believe that their doctors exchange a lot more healthcare information than they actually do.
While those of us steeped in the details of healthcare IT, EHR, and health information exchange know many of the intricacies and challenges associated with exchanging healthcare data, most patients have no idea. Plus, I can easily argue that this perception is only going to get worse.
The next generation is being trained that all information is available anywhere. Take something as simple as watching TV. There’s technology that lets you watch TV on your computer, transfer it to your TV set, and then off to your iPad or mobile device. In many ways I have this same experience on my computer as well. I sync my web browser and everything is automatically updated with all my settings. With Dropbox, all of my files are automatically synced between all of my devices as well. I could go on and on.
The point is that society is starting to have their personal settings and information follow them wherever they go. However, as we all know, in healthcare this isn’t even close to happening. I know we could easily blame HIPAA or financial impediments to this problem, but those feel more like excuses. I’m still not sure how to get past those excuses, but I’ll be really happy the day we finally do. It’s time for a patient’s perspective to become reality.