To Obama: More to health policy than electronic records

Submitted by administrator on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 22:03

We need electronic health records, but we need to go beyond replacing traditional paper records.

Electronic health records are now being advocated by the new Obama administration. That is a good idea, but not enough. So say Joseph Kvedar and over 30 other participants in the Connected Health Blog. Kvedar, the Director of the Center for Connected Health, has published a position paper which expands on Kvedar's article, "Health Care Reform…The Missing Piece."

Kvedar and the blog participants advocate a broader, more innovative scope to improving health care which includes but also goes beyond the use of electronic health records.

Some key recommendations:

  • Chronic disease is a major concern: approach prevention and management at the population/public health level as well as for the individual.
  • Give patients greater responsibility, and the proper information and tools, to better manage their own health.
  • Move from our current fee for service reimbursement model to one that pays differentially for high quality and for population management.
  • Create incentives for widespread adoption of population health management tools and strategies, including Connected Health technologies. Connected Health includes: physiologic monitoring, patient feedback and education and data driven coaching.

New concepts, like conected health and having patients participate in their health, need advocates like Kvedar in order to survive and prosper. Perhaps now, with a more open and receptive administration, new ideas will be heard. Perhaps we should also enlist more patients/consumers as advocates and innovators in the struggle for the needed changes in health care.