· Healthcare organizations “must unlock the patient data in EHR silos of hospitals and affiliates to better coordinate and improve quality of care delivered. Health Information Exchange technology is the enabler.”
· Until EHR vendors incorporate a shared set of standards, HIEs will remain in a state of stunted development, said Moore: “Across the board, legacy systems fail to support true interoperability, and vendors are doing little to remedy this situation.”
· The report will also look to the future as to how this [Health Information Exchange or HIE] market will grow and evolve over the next several years as meaningful use requirements take hold, healthcare reform brings forth changes in reimbursement models, access to health data moves to mobile platforms and the consumer takes on a larger role.”
The quotes above show that the health technology industry and the government are beginning to face key facts:
· Data silos endanger patient health and safety: obviously we need our doctors to see relevant parts of our medical records held by other doctors/hospitals.
Electronic Health Records companies, hospitals, and the many other corporations that hold our electronic health information want to continue to “own”, control, and sell our personal health data. They built this system of “silos” that PREVENT data exchange (also called “interoperability”). Corporations fiduciary duties to make profits for shareholders trump exchanging health information to save patients’ lives and reduce costs!
· Consumers = patients. If we say so, our health records must be shared with our physicians or other health professionals. This is matter of law.
No matter which corporations or health professionals hold our electronic health data, we are entitled to electronic copies. If you say your health data should be sent to another physician or health professional, the data holder must send it. ONLY individual patients or “consumers” have clear rights to control personal health information and have it sent to the other physicians and health professionals who are treating them.
· HIEs, data exchanges where patients have no meaningful control over who can copy and use their health information, are not the answer.
How “Direct” exchange works (via the “Direct Project”): a participant (like our physicians) can send secure, encrypted health information directly to a known, trusted recipient over the Internet. Unlike the case with HIEs, personal health information can’t be “pulled” from the 10, 20, or 100 places that hold our health records. Using the “Direct” method, someone has to decide to send one patient’s data to another person.
We [“consumers”] are the ONLY ones who can quickly, easily, and legally get and “exchange” our own health records at will. Hippocrates Oath, the foundation of the physician-patient relationship, states that sensitive health information should ONLY be shared with the patient’s consent. Data exchanges like the Direct Project
The only way electronic health systems can work and earn the public’s trust is if data flows are controlled by patients, with very rare legal exceptions.