A storm is rising. The demographics of the United States are creating an inevitable surge in demand for health care. Health care costs will continue to rise – exacerbating a crisis in health care, whose costs already threaten the nation’s economy. The nation will increasingly look to technology as a solution to the problem. Interoperability – clinical data sharing between disparate health systems – will be a requirement, not a luxury.
As health information technology evolves, a fundamental problem has emerged – the systems being installed are not designed to work together. Personal health information is expensive to develop, yet sits in silos of information of limited value to the average patient who visits multiple physicians who use disparate systems that don’t interface with each other. Payers and large employers have recognized the problem, and it is the subject of intense focus and debate.
HealthCapable, founded in 2004 by an emergency medicine physician, has developed patent-pending technology that is currently in use and is an innovative market approach that addresses this issue. Two pilot programs – one in Chicago, one in Colorado – have successfully demonstrated the concepts and the technology. As there is no generally accepted business model for personal health data mobility, this is signficant.
Within the health care community, there is a baseline level of interest in improving health information data sharing; however there is little unanimity on the subject. The situation calls for an incremental approach that starts at an area of commonality and gradually builds trust as it moves forward.
HealthCapable has identified a useful community-wide market entry point which appeals to all health care providers in the health care spectrum, with a value proposition associated with both regulatory compliance and measurable return on investment. It is a low-risk entry point to health information sharing – participating institutions benefit from the outset whether a network effect is achieved or not.
The HealthCard user interface draws extensively on PreScript™ Technologies, which represent the best browser-based method to confine users to a given vocabulary – unlocking the promise of computerized algorithms associated with medical care. Typically healthcare users are unwilling to be constrained to a given vocabulary due to usability issues. PreScript™ addresses this issue.
Participation in the National Health Trust creates the platform that is necessary to accomplish further information sharing on the part of institutions – trust in the system, and confidence that their participation creates value for their customers. A thorough evaluation of this approach leads to the conclusion: the benefits are great, the risks of implementation are low, and the price of doing nothing is intolerable.