HIMSS: Verizon Talks Up New Cloud Service For Health Data Exchange

Date: March 5, 2013||   0  Comments

Verizon Data ExchangeLast month’s article by Steven Brill in Time magazine (Bitter Pill) brought painful and much needed transparency to the topic of healthcare pricing. The biggest single topic and buzzword at HIMSS13 in New Orleans was unveiled earlier today – interoperability. For the rest of us – that word refers to how the healthcare industry exchanges patient data safely and securely. I’ll provide the cliff notes – it doesn’t. At least not easily. For decades the healthcare IT (HIT) industry has been mired in the politics and profits of getting even basic patient information from point A to point B. In a wild attempt at using all of us as digital Sherpas – even the mighty tech giant Google tried their hand at a patient-facing health record (called Google Health) which they completelyshuttered earlier this year.

Without going into the evolutionary history of healthcare IT, it’s easy to understand the complexity surrounding all the failed attempts. The pitched battle around HIT profits makes any data exchange a monumental – some would say impenetrable – gauntlet. In healthcare, patient data is patientownership and as we learned from Steven Brill – that wildly lucrative chargemaster price has to be applied to something. That something is the patient record. Sharing that record – in any direction – is significant risk for many business and legal reasons. Here are just a few:

  • Over 300 Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors (with salaries and profits aplenty)
  • A combination of structured and unstructured data (with hundreds of proprietary data formats)
  • The need for “trusted” (think ”chain of custody”) data for the safe transfer of clinical risk and legal liability
  • Almost 3 million physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists either creating or editing patient data
  • A lmost 6,000 hospitals and over 1,000 healthcare insurance companies nationally (managing and storing the data)
  • Over 300 million (potential) patients and over 1 billion discrete patient events per year
  • No National Patient ID (12-15% of hospital errors are related to patient identification)
  • Regulatory requirements (and penalties) with very real (often individual) consequences

via Forbes | continue reading

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