[ Friday, October 07, 2005 ]


American Health Information Community meetings: Alan Goldberg, intrepid moderator of the Health Information Technology listserv (the "HIT List") run by the American Health Lawyers' Association and all-around HIPAAcrat good-guy, has been attending the meetings of the American Health Information Community, the group put together by the Bush administration to push for adoption of information technology solutions in the healthcare industry. He's reported to the listserv a list of potential breakthroughs being discussed by the Community.

I tell you what, you read through that list and can't help but think, "Of course." Why hasn't the industry embraced all of these things?

There are two answers. First, the devil's in the details. How exactly you do what they want done, in a fashion that in interoperable, isn't always that easy. People have different needs, expectations, desires, and opinions about what should be most important or first. Second, there are unanticipated consequences to all of these great, good ideas. Electronic health records easily available over the internet would be great to help sickly folks fleeing a hurricane or other natural (or unnatural -- i.e., terrorist) disaster, but could also be an easy route to identity theft or discrimination in employment or lending.

That said, the only way to get over those two road bumps is to have some momentum pushing forward. There are answers, and there are decisions to be made, and perhaps the Community will turn out to be instrumental in pushing this forward.

Jeff [12:14 PM]

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