Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crafting the Future of Health IT with Novel Solutions

I just started a Linkein group--Crafting the Future of Health IT with Novel Solutions--located at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2697006&trk=anet_ug_hm&goback=%2Eanh_2697006. You are welcomed to join!

The primary purpose of this group is to build and deploy novel health IT solutions that continually raise the bar of possibility and meaningful use. To help achieve this goal in a win-win manner, we are focused on combining group members’ products with my company’s novel architectural platform and supplemental (add-on) applications.

I started this group because I believe a good business strategy for small HIT companies in this economic climate focuses on collaboration and networking. As such, we are eager to form close business relationships with the individuals and companies that join this group.

To implement this strategy, we will share the details of our patented technology; provide very fair licensing agreements; support beta groups; and enable the cost-efficient interoperability between members EHRs, PHRs and any other clinical and business tools that provide added value.

My goal is to assist others in understanding what we have to offer in order form close collaborative business relationships that BENEFIT EVERYONE INVOLVED. After all, something as complex as improving the healthcare system in meaningful ways is a global effort requiring the voices, ideas, innovations and work of many (across multiple disciplines and nations), as well as the integration of many different technological approaches, both conventional and disruptive.

I encourage probing questions, challenges to my claims, business and technical suggestions, exploration of how third-party health IT products can interoperate using our architecture, etc. This kind of honest, critical, direct discussion and relationship-building is the purpose of our group.

I contend that though our combined knowledge, creativity and efforts we will develop an affordable, secure, ever-evolving and all-encompassing HIT system that will be envied by others and will never become obsolete.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Four Interlocking Issues about Fixing American Healthcare


Here are four interlocking issues that must be addressed if we Americans are ever to fix healthcare:

  1. Meaningful use of health IT vs. Minimally acceptable usefulness. I contend that health IT is used "meaningfully" only if it helps increase the effectiveness and efficiency of care (i.e., increases care value to the consumer). Although the Federal government is focusing on this value proposition, pressure from the healthcare industry may end up watering down the meaningful use definition to one of "minimally acceptable usefulness." And to be TRULY meaningfully used, EHRs ought to provide data and functions that support the following three value-enhancing models & processes...
  2. Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) vs. Uncoordinated care. The PCMH model, which provides oversight and coordination in the delivery of care is, thankfully, gradually gaining acceptance.
  3. Patient-Centered Cognitive Support (PCCS) vs. Inadequate information (ignorance), Information overload, and Lack of computerized decision support. PCCS, which consists of advanced software systems that help clinicians make informed decisions without information overload, is slowly gaining traction.
  4. Pay-for-Value (P4V) vs. Fee-for-Service (FFS). P4V, which focuses on the delivery of cost-effective care (i.e., high value to consumers) is being endorsed by some, but it has a long way to go before crowding out the FFS model in which "pay for volume" or "pay more for doing more" is actually a disincentive for cost-effective care (i.e, cost-effectiveness means less provider income/revenue under FFS).
Unfortunately, current day EHRs are not designed to support all those things, which means we ought to re-think the future of health IT design and capabilities. So, while it's important to have EHRs used widely across all healthcare facilities and disciplines/specialties--and while meaningful use criteria cannot be overly demanding considering their very early stage of today's EHR applications--there ought to be assurance by vendors that their products are flexible/adaptable enough to accomodate TRUE meaningful use.