• Electronic medical records [podcast]

    Obviously these podcasts will not be weekly. We’ll strive for a more sustainable “occasional” one. Anyway, in the podcast below, we discuss electronic medical records. We’re sorry to say, it’s rather depressing. Here are some relevant links to prior posts:

    • This podcast is excellent! Especially because it points out the failings of the current EHR implementation strategy and in the process, implicitly identifies the solution.

      My company, PilotFish Technology, has been evangelizing the benefits of standards-based integration (or interoperability) for 10 years. I would, however, modify one recommendation that was made in the podcast. The recommendation was that there should be a standard for the databases in how they represent the data. In practice, this approach doesn’t work. Different applications require different data sets and are optimized for the particular application. What is required is a common model or data exchange standard. For the most part, this already exists in HL7. Other examples of data standards for health include CCD, CCR, and DICOM. The trick to successfully integrating the disparate systems is to enable them to exchange information in real time regardless of their respective platform, operating system, database, communications protocol, data format or location. This can be accomplished by using a good middleware product. As you might guess, my company offers just such a product.

      By definition, as much as 80% of the implementation costs for EHR are for integration. By using the middleware strategy, we have consistently been able to reduce that 80% by 90% or more (72% of total EHR implementation costs). By taking this approach, healthcare providers can adopt a best of breed strategy for new systems while not having to replace existing systems and avoid the enormous cost of an all or nothing approach.