EMRs and the Internet: evolutionary processes
The Internet is a place where a good idea are expanded and enhanced to make them more and more useful to more and more people. Early email often included links to “cool” sites and then we got Web crawlers that gave us access to more site and then there was Google. Email with lists of recipients grew into social networks that are still expanding.
Tomorrows medical records will be electronic, have formats that include today’s standard codes plus further refinements that make the sharing of existing and new information available for uses we have not even dreamed of.
A recent example: “Many in the medical community believe that those who treat depression would be able to dramatically reduce suicide or medication related problems if the doctors had access to daily mood diary data. Pilot data from John’s Hopkins has confirmed that. … We will use the Johns Hopkins University depression mood tracking SMS technology [the technology of Twitter] and adapt it to connect to the Practice Fusion EHR instead of the current physician standalone system [which will make it available to additional doctors and bring all relevant data to a single patient record.]” http://goo.gl/3R6v
Simply using today’s paper based formats and codes for the creation of medical records does not provide for “daily mood diary data” from cell phones and other SMS devices and the integration of the additional data with traditional medical data.
The history of the Internet argues that whatever is built today must allow for future flexibility for new uses and new technologies. Simply providing faster ways to replicate the faxing of standard code-based-forms will not provide access to the benefits that can be achieved.
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