Another article on the Stimulus package cites the novel use of the term Open Source being used to describe types of health information systems that should be investigated and evaluated. Others are starting to be intrigued by possible cost savings and customizability possibilities. Of course, I’m preaching to the choir here.
Physicians who are writing about their encounters with health IT systems have made some interesting observations on interface design problems in some of the proprietary systems out there.
Just scroll down to see some of the interface examples here. And people feel safer about a proprietary product vs an open source (like the VHA’s VistA) product? I’ll leave it to the interface designers here to post their critiques.
Just another aside, check out the “hold harmless clause” being foisted on potential purchasers of proprietary EHRs. Looks like the Docs are going to have to add another 6 months to their medical residencies so they can learn debugging methodologies.
There is a good roundup of issues confronting/thwarting attempts to have Open Source, interoperable, etc. Electronic Health Records over at LinuxMedNews today. Where, oh where, will that $19 billion dollars go?
There has been some discussion as to whether or not Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are “medical devices” and as such should be regulated. Recently there was an excellent posting at LINUXMEDNEWS tackling the issue of informed consent for patients subjected to being beta testers for proprietary EHRs and clinical HIT devices.
The article does provoke some thought on why healthcare IT is a somewhat different animal from Management Information Systems for business. Should you have the right to know what the bug ratings look like for an EHR the same way you expect a list of potential side effects for medications and clinical procedures? The phenomenon of “E-Iatrogenesis” has been coined at JAMIA to indicate unintended consequences of using an EHR. If paper is also used for clinical decision making, should the patient also be made aware of potential drawbacks of using that medium as well?
Among other things I’m testing whether I can finally post or not so this will be brief.
There has been quite a bit of excitement concerning the Stimulus bill and healthcare IT development. However, not all health information management entities would appear in favor of Open Source software in Healthcare. Check out the HIMSS electronic health record association corporate membership guidelines. Hint, read the second sentence under “Background” very carefully.