As part of the leadup to Health IT week, and the simultaneous blog carnival, HIMSS is encouraging thought leadership on the question: How will health IT make a difference a year from now?
At EMRSoap, we see health IT increasingly affecting us in the same way that other types of IT already have.Â As a cohort of people, weâ€™re growing increasingly tech-savvy.Â Millions of Americans own technology that would have been better than business-class a few years ago: Apple has 315 million iOS devices activated and Android has 135 million devices activated.Â These powerful devices are being ingratiated into our day-to-day.Â You can track your workouts, plan your meals, read a book, organize a party, or order a pizza from these devices that more and more of us have in our back pockets.
As part of the consumerization of IT, EMRSoap expects the increasing consumerization of health IT.Â Our predictions follow the general industry trend, and is also supported by recent actions by exciting entrants into health IT and important industry stakeholders.
One example of the consumerization trend is MotherKnows.Â This is a tool that empowers parents to take control of their childrenâ€™s medical record.Â Immunizations, recent medical actions, medications, and growth charts are all tracked.Â Easily lose-able paperwork no longer needs to be kept track of, and reminders about important medical actions keep your family up-to-date.Â With a single iPhone app, individuals are better prepared for a medical emergency away from their childrenâ€™s stored ePHI.
Not only is consumerization being pushed by new entrepreneurial ventures, but its ethos is being supported by HIPAA and important institutional actors.Â Take the â€˜Whatâ€™s in Your Health Recordâ€™ video contest sponsored by the ONC: this is an incentive for patients to engage with their PHI and to become partners in their own care with their providers.Â Consumers that question the veracity of their medical records will want to take active control of their health information. Since that data is already likely to be in electronic form, the logical manager of that information will also be electronic.
This contest was part of their broader objective to inform the public about their right to access their PHI.Â As information spreads and more ventures like MotherKnows make entries into the market, we predict that the ONC will make strides on this objective.Â Additionally, we predict that more ePHI control tools will emerge onto the various App stores, as the â€˜ePHI consciousâ€™ consumer emerges.Â While MotherKnows is a cool tool for managing childrenâ€™s ePHI, we have yet to isolate an App leader in more general personal ePHI management.Â What if a mother needs to track her own ePHI, or the ePHI of her husband or father?Â These questions and more will be answered by new tools over coming years.
As more people take control over their health records, we predict an increase in patient-drive accountability for ePHI security.Â Large data breaches are frequent and worrisome.Â More people will have the background knowledge that will leave them capable of asking: â€˜what are you doing to protect my PHI?â€™Â This additional check on provider ePHI security will spur increase HIPAA compliance and reduce the risk of ePHI breaches.
These trends will be beneficial for every actor in the healthcare ecosystem.Â Patients benefit when they know their PHI is correct and theyâ€™re empowered to ask their doctor how their PHI is being protected.Â Providers benefit from better care: they have to spend less time tracking down a patientsâ€™ PHI in order to treat them.Â The entire industry benefits from reduced service costs, and greater accountability for breaches.
To summarize: health IT will make a difference by empowering patients, reducing costs, improving the checks on ePHI security, and radically transforming the medical industry.