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Missing the Boat on the Stimulus: Don't Forget the Patient

March 14, 2009
by Suresh Gunasekaran
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There is a lot of buzz around the industry on the dollars available for EMR efforts. Big words and big ideas are swirling between interoperability, software certification, clinical quality, and data warehousing. Let's not forget the patient. I still believe the most transformational force in healthcare is the patient. A patient that can manage her own healthcare, understand her options, the comparative performance of her healthcare providers, and the cost of her healthcare choices can make a big difference. When we think of EMR efforts in 2009, let's not forget the patient. When we think of Wal-Mart, Microsoft's Health Vault, or Healthgrades, let's not forget that one of the greatest promises of EMR's is connecting the patient with her own healthcare. Why would small community physician practices want to use an EMR? Maybe because their patients expect them to in 2009, and now tthe doctors are getting a little financial help to do it. In 2009, patients want to see their last cholesterol online, request an appointment on-line, ask their doctor a simple question, or get their prescription refill on-line. Pretty soon, they may not want to go to a doctor that can't get with the program.

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Great post, Suresh! The Web 2.0 and Health 2.0 movements really demonstrate how savvy patients have become with technology and how great the demand is getting for tools that enable patients to better manage their care.
Like you've said before, other industries like banking have empowered consumers, and I believe it's time healthcare got on board.

Suresh,

We could not agree with you more... and the Health 2.0 movement is leading the way! As Ted Eytan pointed out: "Health 2.0 is participatory healthcare. Enabled by information, software, and community that we collect or create, we the patients can be effective partners in our own healthcare, and we the people can participate in reshaping the health system itself"

We believe that community platforms will lead the way to the transparency in healthcare information.

Suresh Gunasekaran

CIO

Suresh Gunasekaran's blog provides musings from the CIO of an academic health...