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Idiosyncratic Recommendations Based on Widespread Principles: the Health IT Policy Committee Report

Posted on December 21, 2015 I Written By

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His articles have appeared often on EMR & EHR and other blogs in the health IT space. Andy also writes often for O'Reilly's Radar site ( and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM, and DebConf.

Congress received an odd document last week from an advisory committee on Health IT. It takes an unexpectedly new–and demandingly detailed–approach to the perennial problem of health record interoperability. However, if one analyzes the authors’ reasoning, it turns out to be based on unstated principles that are widely accepted in health care:

  1. The market is broken, and the government must intervene either through incentives or through requirements.

  2. The intervention should be based on operational or clinical goals, not dictating the adoption of specific technologies.

  3. Policy-makers should pick off low-hanging fruit through goals that produce potentially large benefits with relative ease.

Read more..

Patient Perspectives of Physician Communication

Posted on August 1, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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.