How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management’s importance

Summary:I had a jolt of enthusiasm the other day when drinking my Red Bull and thinking of President Barack Obama’s push for real electronic records management.

I had a jolt of enthusiasm the other day when drinking my Red Bull and thinking of President Barack Obama’s push for real electronic records management. As Ron Miller said a while ago on the topic:

Bex Huff, who is a consultant specializing in Oracle Enterprise Content Management, wonders in a recent blog post if President-elect Obama's recent radio address calling for the modernization of medical record keeping would be a boon for content management vendors. It's Huff's contention that it would be, but I'm not sure this particular aspect of the president-elect's plan would help ECM specifically. It could certainly help related industries around scanning and pure document management.

The record itself, the basic data about you as a patient, tends to be structured data, which can be handled in a database, but the pieces that go with your records such as x-rays and aspects of the record that are not yet electronic that need to be scanned could be handled by document management vendors. There is also a business process related to any medical facility, whether it be a family practice or a large medical group, and using content management work flow engines could help move the content from one workstation to the next.

It's clear, as I've written here before, there will be ample opportunity for ECM vendors as Congress crafts stricter regulations in exchange for all of the money it is giving to various industries to keep them afloat. These and other situations in the coming years could help ECM and related industries continue to do well, even if the economy continues to flounder.

Tremendous benefits have been documented

And according to our friends at the Document Scanning Blog:

However, tremendous benefits are expected if the above mentioned challenges and concerns are successfully resolved. One of the main objections to Obama’s plan has been its cost. However the healthcare industry spends around $2 trillion every year whereas Obama’s plan would cost $100 billion to implement according to estimates. So it is a small amount when compared with the expected benefits that the move can bring. Moreover the computerization of the health record system can save the healthcare industry up to 300 billion dollars per year according to some expert estimates. Another benefit is that a number of new jobs will be created, as personnel will be needed to implement and maintain a computerized health record keeping system. Some estimates place the amount of jobs generated at up to 212,000. The system will standardize health record keeping and make tracking a patient’s health data across providers easier. There will also be increased savings for every US family as health care costs will be reduced.

So is this initiative a giant leap forward? Or a shot in the dark? Considering the state that the economy is, we need innovative and forward thinking plans even if they involve taking risks or overcoming many challenges. Moreover, the future is digital. Everything we have seen indicates a switch to computerized systems. Why should the system of keeping medical health records be any different? This initiative will certainly increase healthcare quality and reduce healthcare costs if all goes well.

So soak it up my friends, get on your hiking shoes and make this your year to realize your own vision in your own organization.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Health, Legal

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ZDNet introduces Doc (The DocuMentor), sponsored by RICOH. Through his blog, Doc will educate you about Document Management. So who is Doc? Doc is something of an enigma. He was born to a Russian ballerina and a German electrical engineer who some believe was running covert operations for shadowy corporate interests. Doc grew up in variou... Full Bio

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