Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thomas Goetz: It's time to redesign medical data

1 comment:

Bob Coli, MD said...

Transforming ordinary patients into empowered e-Patients by helping them understand the meaning and implications of their own test results would be an important advance in the emerging era of participatory medicine. Hopefully, competing healthcare IT vendors will understand both the patient-friendliness and the competitive business development value of replacing unintelligible diagnostic test results reports with easily understood, actionable information. Those that do understand may be inspired by Wired’s low cost proof of concept project to create high quality, low cost (or even free) test results interpreting consumer products.

The potential cost and quality benefits of widespread implementation of Mr. Goetz's unique project might also help focus more attention on the antiquated method used to report patient test results to physicians, which is also long overdue for a major makeover.

Accomplishing this disruptive innovation will require the replacement of the infinitely variable formats EHR, HIE and PHR platforms now use to report cumulative test results as incomplete, fragmented data with a standard format that displays all results as complete, clinically integrated information. This type of physician-friendly test results reporting format redesign will make it much easier to read, analyze, act upon and share this key clinical information with empowered patients and collaborating colleagues. Widely implemented, it will also help produce durable cost, quality and patient safety benefits.

In this instance, enlightened self-interest and the competitive value of data liquidity, platform-neutrality and seamless interoperability could inspire competing healthcare IT vendors to help physicians manage the growing overload of electronic test results data more efficiently.