The Department of Health and Human Services announced a plan to computerize and standardize health records. The report: "The Decade of Health Information Technology: Delivering Consumer-centric and Information-rich Health Care”.
I've often wondered whether the poor state of Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) was really an investment banking problem; it seemed to me that everyone in the healthcare system had a great ROI for modern HIT, but no one could afford to make the changes needed to get there. The report says:
EHRs will induce concomitant changes in workflow, in relationships between physicians and patients, and in process control that together will trigger subsequent waves of positive change, moving health care toward a more modern and consumer-driven model. A large gap remains, however, between the promise of EHRs and the capacity and willingness of clinicians to use them...there are very few physician groups or hospitals in the United States able to sustain high capital expenses or operating losses over the long term simply because of mission or strategy. For the rest, short-term finances will determine whether they invest in EHRs.
The whole push for a consumer-driven model, with radically reduced capital and operating expenses, is so well-aligned with modern platform technologies like the ones mentioned in the Healthcare demo. I hope the newly announced plan is the start of serious, sustained market development towards the goals outlined in the report. Sign me up.