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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Drummond report on Information Technology in Healthcare

Just had a chance to scan through the Drummond report. This is the state of the Ontario economic. It is almost 500 pages, so I don't know when I will ever read it all. This section on information technology in healthcare resonated with me. I agree with it. Not only is it a way to save money, but it is also the right approach to the appropriate use of the technology. They say that the largest civilian software project failire in history was the national health service architecture in the UK for health records. My own research discovered that the best results will come when the patient and physician are working close together, and the electronic medical record is only stored locally. It doesn't mean the data is locked in a silo. The record can be programmed or make accessible through XML, HL7 or other interoperable standards. Standards neeed to start locally though, not from a national architecture. http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/reformcommission/chapters/report.pdf
Information technology (IT) is not used enough by physicians and other health care professionals across the system in a way that allows different disciplines and services to integrate their activities. Extensive use of IT is key to pushing the health care system to operate in a co-ordinated fashion. History has shown that huge IT projects are unwieldy. Most gains will come from local and regional records, so electronic record-keeping should begin with FHTs and hospitals; these could then be connected and expanded from this base. It is imperative, of course, that everyone use compatible systems that can communicate with each other.