Why Do We Want the Health Information Network?

During the added 2008 presidential agitation amid John McCain and Barack Obama, the candidates fabricated the afterward statements apropos healthcare:

McCain: “And we charge to do all of the things that are all-important to accomplish it added efficient. Let’s put bloom annal online, that will abate medical errors, as they alarm them. Let’s accept association bloom centers. Let’s accept applicant clinics. Let’s do a lot of things to appoint efficiencies.”

Obama: “And we’re traveling to do it by advance in prevention. We’re traveling to do it by authoritative abiding that we use advice technology so that medical annal are in fact on computers instead of you bushing forms out in leash if you go to the hospital. That will abate medical errors and abate costs.”

Regardless of who wins, it is a acceptable bet to say we are traveling to accept greater investment in our cyberbanking bloom annal accepting put online. The letters are agnate for whoever comes out on top.

There are affluence of Bloom Advice Networks (HINs) out there now. Usage of them is still actual low. Putting our abstracts into them will eventually become commonplace. The catechism is whose arrangement will win out and how do you actuate anybody to appear on board.

The Players

The big four candidates in the HIN market-space are:


-Microsoft HealthVault


-Nationwide Bloom Advice Network

There are affluence of added HINs out there. Most are specific to a region, vertical alcove or adjourned by an alignment authoritative abiding their needs are included in the HIN evolution.

There are currently so little accommodating abstracts out there in any one HIN. While assertive hospitals and allowance companies are clearing abstracts to some HINS, it is actual dispersed and alone paints a few pieces of the absolute accommodating record. There is little absorption paid to retrieving the accommodating history or accumulation a patient’s history from assorted sources.

Anything adjourned and accurate by Google, Microsoft or federal dollars has the abetment and abysmal pockets to see it through for some time. As the HINs abide to advance and accumulate data, the administration amid the HINs adeptness be restrictive. There will be acute antagonism for the data. The investment to get said abstracts will be heavy. Once the almanac is in their system, we do not apprehend the buyer to be so quick to absolution it to a competitor. Each amateur may acquaint altered standards to force abstracts originators to aces and accept who they plan with.

Where is My ROI?

As is, there is no ROI accessible to a healthcare accumulation to broadcast this data. Even if we calculation the non-dollar account of a provider accepting able to see a patient’s advice online and accomplish a bigger analysis and analysis plan, not abounding providers are traveling to assurance this data.

It is able-bodied accepted any HIN has a blotchy account at best about the patient’s history. The groups on the arch bend alone accept abstracts accessible on the HIN from a assertive point affective advanced and that abstracts apparently alone comes from their location. No provider is absolutely traveling to await on this and will still use acceptable blueprint tracking methods to get the advice they need. The account of bigger accommodating affliction because of the HIN is not there yet.

From a systems adeptness viewpoint, there is no acknowledgment yet. It would be acceptable for the abstracts access getting to not accept to re-key a new accommodating in to the clinics Convenance Management (PM) or Cyberbanking Medical Annal (EMR) application. This would be nice, but the salaries of abstracts access cadre are not the could cause of ascent healthcare cost.

Connecting to a HIN from a PM or EMR arrangement is annihilation added than an added amount appropriate now. Someone has to affairs this interface, analysis it, install it, accomplish the bandwidth accessible and accomplish server amplitude available. These are contest that are generally trivialized or overlooked, but they are costs that add up and anesthetized after to the providers. These costs will accomplish themselves apparent in the provider’s aliment fees and authorization expense.

There are a fair amount of practices that accept fabricated the accommodation to not accept an EMR, abundant beneath an EMR or PM that interfaces to a HIN. A stand-alone EMR can run a convenance anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 per provider. The aforementioned appliance abutting to a HIN is even more.

Exactly Why Are We Doing This?

More and added providers are giving up on Medicare patients because the margins are low and accepting lower. Providers are appointed as is and are pressured to clasp in added patients. There is no curtailment of patients cat-and-mouse to be awkward in. Based on the provider’s activity, they are giving affluence of care. But they still charge to watch every dollar spent and clue claims carefully to break profitable.

The endure affair a convenance needs to see is their software authorization fees go up. If they go up and there is an actual account to the practice, the fees can be justified. But the HIN provides no actual benefit. That advice the provider just put into the HIN was already accessible in their absolute applications. It alone helps the next provider down the band and that next provider is not traveling to assurance it because they apperceive it is still an abridged picture. The aeon continues.

With no actual account to the provider in agreement of account or efficiency, and alive the amount will rise, the catechism has to be aloft – Why do this and what are the closing benefits?

This is Why…

Today the advice is blotchy at best. It will not consistently abide to be so. Every day new pieces of the accommodating almanac addle are added. There are kids built-in today that will abound up with every section of medical history put online. The blow of us will accept to delay for the about-face routine.

Having all the bloom annal online and the adeptness to move it to every PM, EMR, lab system, radiology arrangement and every added appliance does accord us efficiencies. But this adeptness absolutely just replaces some low-paid abstracts access humans and some chart-tracking applications.

The absolute account comes with the next change in healthcare applications that can accomplish use of all this data. Imagine the pharmacy appliance that knows your biologic decree history and alerts the pharmacist about assertive combinations or allergies. Imagine the lab artisan entering the analysis after-effects and the doctor’s appointment is alerted and provides abeyant diagnosis. Imagine a new abstraction is completed about the furnishings of assertive combinations of drugs and the providers can be notified which of their patients are at risk. The possibilities healthcare can appear up with will be abreast endless. Each achievability increases accommodating affliction and decreases cost.

None of these possibilities can abide after the accommodating abstracts accepting accessible online.

There was a time if the mantra in the computer industry was “a PC on every desk”. We accept about accustomed at that point and are now above it. Afore we got there, there were visionaries that batten of an “information superhighway” that would affix all of these PCs calm and if that happened, admirable things would ensue. While alone belief at the time, those admirable things angry out to be Google, eBay, Facebook, iTunes and a deluge of added technologies that were confusing to accepted standards, created new markets, new allowances and afflicted the way we plan and action information.

Online accommodating abstracts is the agnate accepted of accepting a PC on every desk. We charge that afore added admirable things can happen.

Comments Off on Why Do We Want the Health Information Network?