EMRs can't fulfill potential unless patients have access to their own data

Here's the $25 billion (give or take a few billion) question: "Is HITECH working?" That's the title of a multi-part series by Vince Kuraitis, Dr. David Kibbe and Dave deBronkart, a.k.a. "e-Patient Dave," on the e-Care Management blog.

Wednesday's post, part five, is about "the reason the whole system exists: patients." Or, as outspoken cancer survivor deBronkart has said in multiple presentations, "Gimme my damn data!" In other words, EMRs won't fulfill their potential unless patients can see their own records and fully participate in care decisions.

"It's our thesis that although you won't see it written anywhere, the stage is being set for a kind of disruption that's in no healthcare book: patient-driven disruptive innovation," the trio write. "When we as patients get our hands on our information, and when innovators get their hands on medical data, things will change."

Health information today tends to be tied to single providers. "That prevents you from seeking care elsewhere, and it prevents you from adding value to your own data by applying innovative tools. To us that's harm. It's not just restraint of trade, it's restraint of health," Kibbe, Kuraitis and deBronkart say. "Give us our data, and let us feed it to other tools, and Katie bar the door."

The patient, they say, should be the platform and the conduit for data. Today's systems are not set up for that paradigm, and that may be by design. "People often ask, 'If we give you your data, what are you going to do with it?' We don't know--that's the point: innovators haven't gotten their hands on it yet!" they write.

"Put the data in the consumer's hands, and let real patient-driven disruption begin."

For more:
- check out this e-Care Management blog post