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

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.

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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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29 comments
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  • eMed records & history will all be tied up in ....

    a RFID implant that within a decade, will be mandated in the NWO's Federated citizenry's right-hand or forehead as standardized scan points. This is off topic, but all pertinent info like a person's medical history & known illnesses, blood type as well as a complete financial dossier will accompany this embedded ID implant. All utilizing a internet based data center providing real time global identity & tracking! Orwell you insightful bastard......
    BillyB40
    • The hell it will

      I WILL NOT COMPLY
      VoiceOfLogic
    • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

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      3shao
  • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

    IN THE UK 29 BILLION AND IT DOESNT WORK MED RECORDS ARE BIGGER AND MESSIER THAN ANYONE REALISED
    GPEDLIN
    • RE: In the UK

      No offense, Limey cousin, but you lot have a far more messy set of problems than we do. You've got lowest bidder physicians out of Pakistan, a fully socialized health care program, and ... well, to be blunt, your country's track record hasn't been so hot on management the past few hundred years.

      I love ya anyway!

      Cheers!
      SpectreWriter
  • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

    Given the rapid pace of change in IT, much of the UK's problems with their systems might be that they have been developed using old outdated technology and techniques. For sure, we need some standards for medical information system to really produce effective systems. Part of this is done in the US Health Care Bill. Devices like the Ipad have the potential for more effective data capture in the Doc's office. And, I think cloud apps will play the next big roll.
    D. Lee Penn
  • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

    As a doc who was around when the average patient's chart would say: "Cold...penicillin"

    now we would have to write or type or check off every little thing we examined for the beancounter to pay us, and to justify why we used antibiotics.

    I suspect that the ultimate outcome of the computerized medical record will be a separate (but illegal) "cheat sheet" with a summary ("cold-penicillin") so we can know what is going on when our record keeping computer crashes or gets a virus.

    (and, of course, neither records will put down the real reason for the visit: the penicillin was from that problem caught from a friendly gal at the truck stop)...
    tioedong@...
    • RE: Cold ... penicillin

      Doc, it'll be no different than your current charting, just a digital version. There's even potential for ya to "write" on a digital pad (God help the court stenographers during THAT malpractice suit!)

      Seriously, though, when entering it'll be much like your current 2 page long forms today, except that when reading/reviewing that chart, the only parts you'll see are the ones where there is actual data; the unused checkboxes will disappear.

      It can work, and likely WILL work fine. If ya get stuck on yours, get ahold of me. I was writing systems for stuff like this in the 80's.
      SpectreWriter
      • My opinion on the matter...

        @SpectreWriter <br>I for one don't have a physician or a medical record for that matter. Who gives a s..t? If I'm ill they'll still charge me a ton of doe for scans, blood analysis, urine and that sort of thing... So let the doctors do their job and earn their buck just as I do mine and earn mine! Comprende?
        Kostaghus
    • Probably like the T-system

      A great many systems use a modified T-notes (migrated from the paper version) with a portion that is free text. Boilerplate text with some room for edits.

      But think of what's in medical records. Once medical records are on-line, they are subject to the same type of hacking that financial institutions are subjected to.

      I've been in hospitals that the access codes to medical records rooms are 1234--because doctors aren't able to remember a more complicated sequence...or the telephone number of the floor to access ICU.

      Pushing those physicians into electronic medical records is going to cause even more to retire.... So much for universal health care, and the staffing to implement it. Those physicians are more likely to be in the rural areas, causing an even more pronounced shortage in already medically underserved regions.
      Alfie AF
    • wait...back up for a minute...

      @tioedong@... technical detail in your post that is OH SO IMPORTANT... you say "cold-penicillin"
      answer: Dont use penicillin for colds!!! cold is virus. there is NO CURE for virus. penicillin is used strictly to kill bacteria. overused and underfinished "cillin"s are creating superbacteria and destroying people.
      captainhurt@...
      • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

        @captainhurt@... exactly. A perfect justification for clinical decision support. An EMR with CDS would not recommend penicillin for a cold.
        jefew@...
  • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

    It's about time! Long overdue. When can we
    start?
    AZEducator
  • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

    It will be a boon to software/hardware distributors. When you're looking at an upfront cost between $100,000 to $200,000 for a 5 provider family practice office where does the money come from in these troubling times? The practice MAY get up to $44,000 per provider back over a five year period, IF they can meet all the guideines. But these guidelines haven't even been written yet.

    I live and work in an area with unemployement running at about 13% and don't see if improving in the near future. Where is the money for EMR coming?
    farhomer
  • Just another government takeover

    All my physicians already keep my medical records using software. Any decent software can export and import data already so where is the benefit other than government oversight and control?
    hunterpaw
    • RE: anotehr government take-over

      The advantage is standardization, so that everyone is working from the same database. There should be no reason to export and import data (which almost always loses something in the translation.) The problem with digital records today is exactly that lack of standardization... and that many are still filing rooms full of hard copy.

      This IS a good thing. I just hope they let guys like me (and better ) who see how it can work both well and simply, do the system design.
      SpectreWriter
  • RE: How Obama's electronic medical record plan could jolt content management???s importance

    How will adding 200,000 skilled workers to the cost of medical care save money? How will making every medical interaction require a working computer help patients and doctors? Where will the money come from?

    EMR's will benefit only those who want to own the information and limit the flow of money that pays the people who actually do the work. Medical school is not the place to learn data processing.
    llebetkin
    • RE: Adding 200,000 skilled workers

      You'd have to be pretty slow to miss that they're projecting a decrease in costs, and that the projection would obviously include the cost of adding the workers.

      Nobody going to med school today is incapable of basic computer use, so the quip about med school not being the place to learn data processing is vapid. I promise you that anyone growing up in the past 30 years is quite capable of using a computer to enter things.

      Having to have a working computer is difficult? Uhm... no. Wouldn't shock me in the least if there was an applet available for the Droid or iPhone/iPad already. If a restaurant server can manage to use a digital menu, a medical doctor can handle a similar interface for charting.
      SpectreWriter
      • No, it isn't that way at all...

        SpectreWriter writes, "Nobody going to med school today is incapable of basic computer use, so the quip about med school not being the place to learn data processing is vapid. I promise you that anyone growing up in the past 30 years is quite capable of using a computer."

        While I think your name is quite cool (I made products named "Spectre"), I've seen many doctors who are uncomfortable with computers -- at best. I have a relative that tells me various horror stories as well.

        One vivid example: I went in for a root canal. They had a new thing: an X-ray machine that used a probe hooked into a PC to read directly in. (No film!) But when they tried to use it, blue-screen. They tried three times.

        I mentioned I knew this stuff, and looked. Not enough chip RAM, but the problem was the probe software, which had a memory "leak"; it kept grabbing more RAM until the machine crashed. The main server also had this.

        I showed the doctor the "performance monitor" and why the machines ran out of memory, and suggested that adding more chip RAM would delay the crashes, at least, until the machines could be rebooted under control. He liked the idea.

        So I went to the computer store, bought RAM, and installed it in the X-ray PC and server. The X-ray computer started working, and they knew, now, to reboot the machines in the morning and at lunchtime.

        Then they did my root canal, and that's the least expensive one EVER done! *grin*

        thanks,

        Dave
        davetracer@...
        • Logic Flaws

          First, it isn't doctors that grew up in the last 30 years that are going to be the problem. It's the ones that are close to retirement age. We're dumping how many new patients into health care, and demanding that physicians who don't even have a home computer go to EHRs.

          You're going to see a lot more docs pull the plug. How are we going to fill the immediate gap between those starting med school and those retiring [b]now[/b]?

          Second, with Medicare subject to 20% cuts, which of those tech-savvy young docs is going to want to move to podunk IA to take care of a rural clinic? (For years there used to be signs on I-80 advertising for a med student who wanted a free ride--if he'd man the town's clinic after residency.)

          Third, military health care recruiters used to sell the service to docs because they had less paperwork to deal with--and had a guaranteed salary--in a period in which paperwork was half of what it is now. And there were numerous takers.

          The future has lower pay, more regulation, and fewer choices. I can see a decrease in applications to med schools, and more back-fill with FMGs (Foriegn Medical Grads.) Next, "Bob" from tech support is going to be checking your "system".
          Alfie AF