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Text Messages from An EMR

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Text messages are becoming more and more popular in the US. It’s funny, because the US is about 5 or so years behind Europe when it comes to the use of text messages. Better late than never I guess. The addiction is especially true with high school children, but the college ranks are ravaged with students who are addicted to texting. I’ve heard some parents say that a text message is the only way they can communicate with their child (how sad is that?).

Considering text messages are getting so popular, I wonder if any EMR companies have integrated text messaging into their software. The most obvious use would be to send a text message reminder about the appointment. I think many patients would love this service. A text message reminder for an annual pap smear or other follow up appointment would be really beneficial as well.

This really wouldn’t be that hard to implement since you can send an email which then goes to someone as a text message. The challenge is only figuring out which provider that person was on in order to send the email to the right place.

Is anyone doing text messages from their EMR? Certainly there are some HIPAA considerations here, but that should be covered by the agreement when they give you their cell number.

June 15, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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.

Health Social Network iMedix

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Has anyone participated in the health social network iMedix? I first read about this idea a few years ago on TechCrunch and it looks like they’re still around and kicking. I really like the idea of an empowered patient. I like the idea of having good information. I’m just not sure that iMedix or many other websites are the places for patients to get that information.

I wonder if iMedix could possibly start partnering with EHR companies to provide their platform of information integrated with a doctor’s portal. I’m not sure the doctor would ever go for it or if they would want to take on that liability. However, iMedix is interesting as kind of a Yahoo Answers for medical questions.

I’ve certainly seen this a few other places on the web and whenever I see it, I think about my experience at the doctor. Usually they don’t have time to answer all of my questions or it feels rushed or other questions just come up after the fact. Plus, I kind of like to know all the nuances of what’s happening. Since I work daily with a number of doctors, I’ve often found myself going and visiting with those doctors to become more educated about the treatment suggested by mine or my children’s doctors. One time my son was prescribed some interesting drugs for Mastocytosis and so I went and talked with the pharmacist I support and learned about the drugs as well. I just wanted to learn everything I could about the treatment and disease.

At the end of the day, how different is it for someone to go on a health website and ask the questions that I asked the doctors and pharmacist I work with? I guess the main difference is the trust factor between information on a website and my colleagues at work. However, the motivation to get more information is the same.

What can’t be discounted is the power of these health social networks to help patients with similar chronic conditions to interact with each other. I find this type of interaction really interesting to follow.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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.

Challenge of Storing and Sharing EMR Data

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Today, I came across the best description I’ve seen of the difficulty of storing healthcare information and also making that information shareable with another EMR in a way that is meaningful.

Longitudinal patient information is arguably one of the most temporally and spatially complex information sets known. Certainly GIS and others are complex as well but the science of medicine and therefore healthcare is constantly changing creating a moving context. To understand how to treat a patient the healthcare provider needs to be able to understand what has worked as well as what hasn’t worked in the context of what was known about the patient and the treatments available at any point in time. This creates an environment of very complex data relationships. If any one of those relationships are broken then the semantic context of the data is lost and now there is a loss of information. Data items need to be bundled and stored as a complete unit of understanding for them to constitute information. Once broken apart into separate data items they are much like Humpty Dumpty.

Certainly the above description describes the challenge of storing and sharing both the healthcare information and the context of that healthcare information. I still can’t help but think that we need to simplify our goals for EMR data sharing into small achievable goals.

The above description also kind of reminds me of my previous post about the “Body of Medical Knowledge Too Complex for the Human Mind.” The description above reinforces this challenge as well.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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.