I don't mean to be a naysayer or a Scrooge but this whole health information technology has been a big yawn. Let me explain. First of all, I like the idea of EHR systems and increased efficiencies in healthcare. I just don't buy the whole forced enthusiasm or branding of Healthcare IT like it is one tangible thing. Every single advance along the way has been monetized and capitalized with the patient falsely heralded as the benefactor.
I have attended dozens of MACRA, value-framework, real world evidence, and healthcare IT conferences or panel discussions and not in one--were any of the insights or cost savings intended to be shared with the patient. More information access just translated into additional high-value data for sale, "improved" algorithms or more data points for consideration.
Working with electronic health record vendors the small practice physician was often told the data wasn't actually theirs and to consider themselves "stewards" of their own data. Really? I was quite literally strongly cautioned and identified as a threat to my EHR clients by their enterprise vendors because I liberated their data into a data visualization and interactive framework. Even though we both knew my queries sat above the data--not intervening in any way--they made false claims to create doubt in their customers. The only "safe" way to generate reports was by paying them high fees for customization and waiting weeks on end for delivery.
Interoperability is the "buzzword" for stop being such a special snowflake. Each company wants the rights to the data they generate. Now we can all watch the "middleware" vendor enter the ring--for another fee. I am not against a business case for improving information exchange as healthcare frameworks continue to evolve--but do we know what we are measuring? The net is quite wide and I am more of a harpoon type.
Case in point, I have been contacted by no fewer than about 10 healthcare IT mobile device vendors. Initially everyone talks about the data and the storytelling that will help clinical decisions at the point of care. As soon as they have a client interested in the device or app--they disappear. Probably on their way to profit-ville.
I am willing to be wrong here. I freely access large datasets being sold and marketed to healthcare stakeholders. In addition, a pay nominal fees for access to other proprietary databases, mainly for convenience of linkages I won't have to code or integrate. Many of the federal data sets are now linked. For example, if patients have completed a census survey AND certain health household surveys--bingo.
Pharmacovigilance studies are also informative. I collect adverse event monitering data models as a reference for dozens of queries. I duplicate the analyses using a MEDRA subscription and very little else.
We need to step away from the blinding light of Big Data and the business of selling you information you already can access freely. The real insights are at the edges. Come join me on the ledge.