Sunday, November 1, 2009

Panel seeks Rx for secure health data exchange

I am confused by the title of this article. It seems to indicate that there is something going to be said about 'secure health data exchange', yet the article has nothing in it on security. The title seems to indicate that there is something wrong in health data exchanges too, but the article focuses on the testimony of two success stories in both 'health data exchange' and 'security'.

The VA interaction with the NHIN is done through standards that follow and exceeding the HIT-Standards recommendations. Not only that but there is an Open-Source success story deep inside.
“Our greatest success may be the full implementation of care coordination via the NHIN, starting with federal partners like the Veterans Affairs Department and using the standards already recommended for meaningful use,” Andrew Wiesenthal, associate executive director of the Permanente Federation, said on behalf of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.


The second success story is about Providence Health, who eventually had to turn to 'standards' to get interoperability working. During the question segment of the testimony it came out that this ultimate solution using standards was accomplished in 11 weeks.
Dick Taylor, chief medical information officer for Providence Health and Services, said Providence has learned several lessons from working on data exchange for a decade.

“We have been challenged by our own workflows, by the time-limited and relatively nontechnical environment in our providers’ offices, and by the maintenance ‘tail’ inherent in custom self-designed solutions," Taylor said. "We have learned and suffered from the limitations of read-only access to systems and clinical summaries that can be viewed but not effectively integrated." The situation improved in 2009 as the industry reached a critical plateau of standards-based data exchange, he added.
I am not sure I want to point at the article as it sends such a mixed up message. But  I will.. More