Health Data Manifesto
Understanding what priorities and necessary changes are in Health IT and technologies. What is needed first? And what is irrelevant?
This post was inspired by the Health Data Manifesto. However, there were some things that I did not agree on and I thought that were things that I should have on there instead for my own personal health data manifesto. Unlike the site that inspired this, I wanted to add my own explanations and understanding as to why these are such key values in improving Health IT in general.
Transparency And Clarity over ambiguity and obscurity.
My goodness, have you ever seen or worked with an EHR? It is unclear, uintuitive, and downright “confusing AF” (for lack of better words). In most cases, the more simple methods and design elements would be much more appreciated as opposed to the vast and complex drop down menus and buttons to click, and boxes to check, and values to rate, and I could go on.
Open Community Collaboration over top-down standardization.
In this situation, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is something that should NEVER be applied to Health IT. Change is good, improvement, evolution, and development of new technologies is of such key importance because it allows for new standards, best practices, and constantly improving workflow for everybody. Asking many of my peers and providers that I have worked with or talked to, there are very few technologies (mainly EHR) that is using that was something developed in the early 2000’s at the very least. Allow for changes, allow for an open community and open source library to submit changes and issue ticket complaints in order to bring about problems and vulnerabilities that can be fixed in a timely manner! Sure there is a lot of security and vulnerabilities behind that idea, but the idea of an open source community committed towards improvement can go a long way.
Extensible frameworks over static standards.
Now, this isn’t the design and workflow of the technologies itself, but the framework that it runs on. Especially with the huge government incentives and mandation of EHR due to MediTech, there was a huge influx of products on the market, all meant to fulfill the checkboxes to get the money, but not really with interoperability in mind. As a result, there was a lack of communication between health systems and medical records. Although there have been standards and frameworks to help with SECURE exchange of information, such as HL7, most companies did not follow up on this, which has led to a difficult time with medical technologies and health data. The important and vital point is how to securely transmit data? In the sense of encryption, how are keys distributed? Etc.
Utility for patients and clinicians today over building the perfect system without feedback.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Instead of worrying about the bureaucratic checkboxes for government incentives and funding, actually make it usable for people that require its uses. Providers. Providers. Providers. If you’re going to force a technology on them, at least make sure they enjoy and at the very least, can take it. Far too many times, it’s filled with bureaucratic junk meant for admissions, finances, billing, and insurance deductible information. On the other hand, patients should have the ability to see their information, now that’s up for further debate whether or not they can see everything, and how to secure the exchange but it is important to do so.