Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fix Health Care IT- Give it to Google

You may have noticed your health provider groaning behind a computer screen during a recent medical visit. No, the doctor did not have a toothache. Most likely, the doctor was being tortured by something called the electronic medical record, commonly called EMR.

This gauntlet, which cost a fortune and hours of sleepless nights, presents a multitude of problems to providers and patients alike. Suffice is to say, because there are so many software vendors, your medical data is fragmented in cyberspace. Contrary to popular belief, electronic records of different practices, hospitals and pharmacies are not connected. These expensive programs are difficult to learn and standardize. In fact there is a new government agency to facilitate our transition to an electronic medical nation.

Google please help.  Give me an EMR application that is intuitive, universal, ubiquitous, and most important open source (free). Oh and I want all those google "gadgets" to help improve the quality of care and keep me connected to my patients. The possibilities are endless. Imagine patient access with portals to medical history, appointment scheduling and lab results, email appointment reminders, electronic consultation online, telemedicine, tools to initiate and monitor lifestyle change; virtual "medical homes", doctor and patient education resources, web cam links to our patients in the ICU, online pharmacies with free generic drug offers, x-ray pics on google buzz or picasa, practice web pages / blogs, quality improvement measuring tools,  patient directed appointment scheduling, mobile device scalability, customizable interface and user preferences, embedded voice dictation and scanner services...even waiting room music, ...just to name a few.

Why Google? Why not! Google is halfway there (see Google Health). And I love those gadgets.

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