“The ideal circumstance would be the use of EMR smart cards that would be updated with every patient encounter and that can be read electronically by every medical provider treating the patient, regardless of the providers’ medical network or health plan affiliation.” – Jim Lott, Executive Vice President, Hospital Council of Southern California, Los Angeles source
I’ll admit to not being an expert on smart cards, but does anyone really think that smart cards are going to get widespread acceptance? The only thing we’ve ever gotten people to consistently carry around with them is their drivers license and even those go missing all the time. How many patients forget their insurance card? Can you imagine the front desk nightmare trying to get people to remember to bring a smart card.
Sure, the concept and the technology is great and interesting. However, the only way this is going to reasonably happen is by transferring the data in the cloud. Considering all of the various legal, political and cultural challenges associated with healthcare data I’m becoming more convinced this cloud of patient healthcare information is going to be managed by the patient.