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ePatient’s Experience Transferring Patient Data to Google Health

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I just finished reading a 2800+ word post talking about e-Patient Dave’s experience transferring his patient record from his hospital PHR to Google Health. If you’ve ever been to the doctor, I think it’s worth a read to learn about how doctors are charting and a little bit about where we are in patients’ owning their own health record.

I will just share a couple quotes from his experience that really stood out. First a look at why the EHR billing centric software we have now is a major problem for the future of PHR:

The really fun stuff, though, is that some of the conditions transmitted are things I’ve never had: aortic aneurysm and mets to the brain or spine.

So what the heck??

I’ve been discussing this with the docs in the back room here, and they quickly figured out what was going on before I confirmed it: the system transmitted insurance billing codes to Google Health, not doctors’ diagnoses. And as those in the know are well aware, in our system today, insurance billing codes bear no resemblance to reality.

For the love of insurance billing codes. Nice way to ruin valuable data.

Another nice quote is about the data integrity of what’s being put into the EHR system:

And you know what I suspect? I suspect processes for data integrity in healthcare are largely absent, by ordinary business standards. I suspect there are few, if any, processes in place to prevent wrong data from entering the system, or tracking down the cause when things do go awry.

And here’s the real kicker: my hospital is one of the more advanced in the US in the use of electronic medical records. So I suspect that most healthcare institutions don’t even know what it means to have processes in place to ensure that data doesn’t get screwed up in the system, or if it does, to trace how it happened.

I know this is a major challenge for our clinic. Our medical records staff have been doing regular EHR chart audits of our providers and sometimes we’re just amazed that someone would electronically sign something in the record. I don’t know how many times we’ve said, “What were they thinking?” Certainly the same thing happened in the paper world, but it is often much harder to “fix” errors like this in an EHR.

What other methods are people using to ensure reliable data being added to their EHR system?

April 9, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Closed Door Decision Making for ARRA and HITECH

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I honestly feel that I’m relatively informed on ARRA and the HITECH Act. Just take a look at the number of times I’ve written about the HITECH act to see what I mean. What I don’t understand is the process the government uses to establish the policies that govern the HITECH Act and distribution of ARRA funds.

There are two major decisions which the EHR and healthcare world are waiting to learn about:
What will be defined as a “certified EHR?”
and
How will they measure “meaningful use?”

What scares me about this process is that it really seems like both of these decisions are being made behind closed doors.

Nothing against the probably very smart people behind those closed doors, but we’re living in an interconnected world. Why don’t those smart people open up the dialogue on these two subjects? I believe that Obama has really tried a number of ways to get feedback and participate in discussions about the issues.

I’m not talking about just having a place where someone can submit feedback to a website which someone never looks at. I’m talking about true interaction and discussion about these very important and very challenging issues.

Much like EHR, the technology for this type of discussion is there, but the adoption of this type of technology is lagging far behind.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

CVS Joins Google Health

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The more I consider what Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault are doing, the more I think that they just might have found the real solution to interoperable health records. I’m still holding out final judgment, but I’m really impressed with some of the things there doing.

For example, Techcrunch reported that Google Health just recently partnered with CVS for Google Health to connect with CVS to try and create a comprehensive pharmacy history. Considering Google had previously signed up Longs Drugs and Walgreens, Google is making good head way towards this goal. No doubt Google Health is also in discussions with Wal-Mart and Target, two of the other major players in this space.

Of course, the next step is to get patients to actually start adopting this technology. I can’t see many pharmacists pushing this feature. In fact, I’m guessing this might be an annoyance for them to have to support. Patients are going to have to force the issue if they want to use this. At least until there’s widespread adoption.

We’ll also leave the privacy issues of these connections for another day as well. Either way, these types of partnerships are like gold for Google Health. It creates a good foundation to build their product. I just still like to see more connections with EHR software vendors. I haven’t seen as many of those happening as I’d like to see.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.