Electronic Health Records, Redux

29 Apr ’05

There have been many posts and news stories on this topic lately – I’ve blogged it a few times, too. As public attention focuses on how to move the health care industry forward and how to reduce costs, technology is moving to the forefront. Recently IBM announced a program to test the sharing of health information records among hospitals, agencies and patients. David Fraser posts today on the move towards outsourcing centralized health record management, a natural consequence of the commoditization of information that must occur if it is going to be managed as a resource.

All of this is a good thing, subject to adequate precautions being taken for privacy. There ought to be a cradle-to-grave data source for all of our health records. It should contain all of our health records, including copies of all tests, notes and such. It should be dynamically updated as more data is created. It should be linked in to automated systems that will keep track of our ongoing health and remind us of important health events in our lives. It should be instantly available to any health professional to whom we wish to provide it. And it should all be available, on an anonymized basis, to researchers.

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