Sunday, April 22, 2012

Think Different

They have more cash on hand than the U.S. Treasury. They exemplify innovation, how to delight customers, how to put them effortlessly in control. They know hardware. They know software. They know Mobile. They know the internet. They know strategic partnerships. They know how to succeed in the market while adding significant value to our lives. They could do PHR (Personal Health Records), they could do HIE (Health Information Exchange), they could do HIX (Heath Insurance Exchange). No other American company is positioned to do these things, either outright or via industry leadership coordination.

Give the razors away. Sell the blades. No problem. I've been buying the blades for about 50 years. They've only gotten more inexpensive.

Help put people in control of their health care. We know it has to happen. We increasingly know what might in fact work. And, we know that the private sector simply has to be a big part of the solution (even our President's ONC knows that, to his and their credit). Do it in a way that simplifies and enhances peoples' lives. All people.

April 24th update:
As More Docs Use Digital Records, So Will Consumers
HITECH Act is prompting widespread adoption of e-health records, but there's more to "Meaningful Use" than what's in the government's programs.
...Without doctors using EHRs, you're not going to get buy-in from patients to use personal health records to manage their own health. When patients are relatively healthy, encounters with healthcare providers are few and far between. Starting a PHR to track very occasional vaccinations or even to record a yearly exam isn't a high priority for a lot of people unless it's super easy to do. That means having data available from healthcare provider to load into a digital record, not typed by hand by the patient. And it also means giving patients a reason to visit a PHR more than once a year, if that.

Chronically ill patients certainly have good reason to use PHRs to manage prescriptions, medical appointments, and lab results, and to refer to discharge instructions after a hospitalization. But again, if PHRs are too hard to use--and if there's no data that's available to be loaded into them--few patients will use them.

"Widespread consumer adoption of PHRs remains elusive," said Lynne Dunbrack, program director at IDC Health Insights. "Uptake and reasons expressed for not using a PHR have remained remarkably consistent for the past five years," she said in an email interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.

According to an IDC Health Insights' Connected Health Consumer Survey conducted in 2011, only 7% of respondents reported ever having used a PHR, and less than half of these respondents (47.6%) are still using one to manage their family's health, she said.
When asked why they did not use a PHR, about 51% of respondents indicated that they were not exposed to the concept of a PHR. In 2006, when a similar IDC Health Insights survey was conducted, approximately 7% of respondents indicated that they used a PC-based or Web-based PHR, and a little more than half (51.9%) were unaware of PHRs.

But as more doctors use EHRs, its likely more patients will use PHRs. "If you take into consideration patient portals, which provide a patient view into their electronic health records and are a form of tethered PHRs, consumer use will begin to increase modestly as physicians attempt to encourage their patients to use the patient portal to meet the Stage 2 meaningful use measurement objectives," said Dunbrack.
Step up, Apple. Do it in memory of the late Steve Jobs, Apple. Take the lead. Harness the need.

- Respectfully, BobbyG

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