/>
X
Business

Google Health faces its first test

The problem is in what PatientSite transmitted, as the patient himself observed. The problem is not that PHRs are inaccurate, but that EHRs are not collected in a single place within hospital systems, and instead pulled together higgledy-piggledy on demand.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Google Health is facing its first big test following news it was pulling billing records into its Personal Health Records service, leading to false conclusions.

Dave deBronkart blogged about transferring his Electronic Medical Record from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to his Google Health account, and his shock at finding it downloaded everything he'd ever had, and some things he never had.

Before posting at e-Patients.Net, deBronkart left a comment with the blog of Ted Eytan, focused on important lessons like "garbage in, garbage out." He blamed an early version of the Beth Israel software, PatientSite, for his troubles.

This is not how headline writers treated the story. "Google service's inaccuracies may hold wide lesson," wrote the Boston Globe. "Google Health records reveal grossly inaccurate data," wrote Information Week.

Neither headline is completely true.

The problem is in what PatientSite transmitted, as the patient himself observed. The problem is not that PHRs are inaccurate, but that EHRs are not collected in a single place within hospital systems, and instead pulled together higgledy-piggledy on demand.

The crisis at Google Heatlh is thus a public relations problem, but many observers are already hostile. Witness the skepticism when Google Health announced its record-sharing service recently. Imagine if the patient in this case had shared his inaccurate record before double-checking it and finding it error-filled?

So far Google seems to be hunkering down.

There has been no press release sent here, and there are no blog posts about it yet. That could prove a costly mistake. Any story with the word "Google" in it makes journalists sit up and take notice. Some would like nothing better than to take the service down a peg.

Silence is giving them that opportunity.

Editorial standards

Related

The 20 best Cyber Monday deals under $30
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The 20 best Cyber Monday deals under $30

Live blog: 110+ of the best Cyber Monday deals
Large white Cyber Monday text with electronics behind it

Live blog: 110+ of the best Cyber Monday deals

The 57 best Cyber Monday deals on Amazon right now
Image of Amazon Echo Show 8 on a wooden table in front of a person cooking and folding pastry dough.

The 57 best Cyber Monday deals on Amazon right now