Dr. Matthew Hahn blogs about the current state of today’s EHR’s and rightly points out many of the same reasons that I have identified in my previous posts:
- The negative impact of Meaningful Use (MU) since 2009
- Poor usability of EHR’s
There are several other important concerns that have been left unanswered by our current Health IT offerings.
- Patient privacy and control of their health records
The solution Dr. Hahn proposed is one that hinges on the hope that government will abandon MU (unlikely given this political climate), and create a whole new EHR development program based on a national competition and then for the government to subsidize the cost of that winner EHR for physicians to use.
Subsequently, this national competition will engage physicians so that they have control over their destinies in designing the EHR of their dreams. But is it realistic to hope that government will support such an endeavor? Although I’m a believer that government should and ought to play a role in setting fair rules and be accountable to the public (for the many and not the few) and not to be overrun by lobbyists and those with the most money and influence who can rig the system, I doubt this solution will see the light of day with our currently polarized politics and the continued, large influence of big money interests in government today.
Movements as Inspiration
Here is my proposal that leverages existing platforms and technologies (but that most physicians may not be aware of) without hoping for the government to intervene today (or yesterday). Only until a community of patients, physicians, and developers that have a common goal of creating an EHR that works for both physicians and patients, that we ultimately compel the government to support (financially) the further development and adoption of this type of system. Those who have studied previous movements (such as the LGBT social movement, thee Civil Rights movement, and the women’s suffrage movement) took a group of like-minded individuals from different walks of life who struggle together, make their voices heard, participate, and ultimately control the cultural narrative to the point that government had no choice but to abide to the sea change that has already taken place. This is where physicians and patients have to start. And we have the tools to start the change as we see fit.