This month’s meeting focused on an update of electronic health record technologies. Dr. Andy Barbash of the Medical Records Institute (“MRI”) led a discussion of recent developments, obstacles, and ideas in this field.
First to address the group was C. Peter Waegemann, CEO of MRI. Mr. Waegemann explained that there are many concepts surrounding the idea of an electronic health record, ranging from a single electronic record within a physician’s office to a nationwide database of health records. The conceptualization of the electronic health record is important to its perpetuation. For example, while a nationwide database of health records is an option for other countries, the United States’ emphasis on privacy makes this concept unworkable here. Mr. Waegemann emphasized that in this country, the electronic health record will more likely be based on compatible systems through which physicians and patients can choose which specific information to share with other specific individuals, rather than a nationwide database through which physicians can access a patient’s entire medical record.
Next, Phillip Adams of Management Systems Designers, Inc. (“MSDINC”) discussed his company’s concept of how the electronic health record might work, explaining that rather than be concerned with the particular system or program a physician’s office uses, the data can be stored simply as data and interpreted and broadcast to a variety of different systems.
Finally, Claudia Tessier, Executive Director of the Mobile Healthcare Alliance, discussed the Continuity of Care Record Initiative (“CCRI”), a cross-industry collaboration for basic continuity of care. She explained that the CCRI’s goal is to create a core data set of the most relevant and timely facts that would be made available to the patient and the physician to whom the patient was referred. According to Ms. Tessier, great strides have been taken in making this goal a reality.