I’m personally of the mind that for any large undertaking you must have a consistent and rational philosophical underpinning. The national move toward a comprehensive Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the associated Health Information Exchange (HIE) necessary to make it functional had just such an underpinning. In my mind, this philosophy was best articulated in the seminal work “Crossing the Quality Chasm”. If you haven’t at least read the executive summary, you should.
Of course, things evolve. The nation has been marching down this road now for almost a decade and President Bush’s initiatives to get it implemented have now been augmented by those of President Obama. Have things gone well? Some yes but mostly no. In large part, I believe this to be the result of the fact that most of healthcare in the U.S. is provided by the equivalent of “Mom & Pop” businesses. These are the small practices that comprise the norm of American medicine. It would seem, that American medicine hasn’t bought off on better healthcare as sufficient justification to carry out EHRs and HIE.
I just stumbled across the recent report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on how healthcare technology reform is going. It’s interesting that I have to agree with most of it. It’s also interesting on the solutions proposed to see the identified roadblocks removed. Have a look and let me know what you think.
This is pretty much mandatory reading if you follow healthcare IT at all.