The death of Google’s Personal Health Record (PHR) should be a wake up call to everyone about electronic medical records (EMR) – it’s not a walk in the park!
Granted, the fact that EMR is very complex software is not the only reason Google Health couldn’t hack it. Many fine articles and blogs point to under-marketing, an unrealistic reliance on consumers to enter data to complete their own records, unusually slow adoption by consumers, and a possibly unrealistic revenue model (selling data.) I’m pretty sure the readers of Manage My Practice could have predicted most of that, especially the part where consumers are not incentivized to enter their own health information.
Here’s my advice to anyone who wants to capture the health data market:
- Any personal health record must be connected to my primary care provider. I don’t want my PHR to be freestanding from my PCP’s (primary care physician/provider) EMR. Really wasteful.
- I want someone I know and trust – maybe someone associated with my PCP – to show me how to use and understand the information in my PHR.
- I want all my other physicians and test centers to automatically send my records to my PHR and for it to load without my participation.
Wow, that really sounds like my PHR is an offshoot of my PCP’s EMR, doesn’t it? Everyone sends the records to my PCP and my PCP gets the data into her EMR, then information feeds into my PHR in a format I can understand. Maybe my PHR resides in the practice’s patient portal where it is protected and secure, but I can still get to it wherever I am.
Of course, my PCP is already overworked and underpaid, so this scenario isn’t very realistic. Unless…a new HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) service code is developed for “provider and patient load medical records together” and the insurance companies pay for it based on the fact that the more data the PCP has about the patient, the more customized and efficient the care can be. AMA, are you listening?
Photo credit: Mary Pat Whaley