While it would have been fun to post a photo of the Thanksgiving diorama the SearchHealthIT staff built in the lunch room – the Farzad cutout in the pilgrim outfit looked particularly realistic – we’ll settle for giving you a few things we’re thankful for as we pause for the holiday weekend:
- Barack Obama’s re-election. No matter your personal political persuasion, if you work for a provider, payer, health information exchange, vendor or other party interested in health IT’s future, you’re at least a little thankful that a Romney administration didn’t already tear down what the ONC has built up over the last four years. Even if you didn’t vote for the incumbent, the Facebook and Twitter political feuds are dying down to glowing embers, at most.
- A report from Ken Terry at InformationWeek about eHealth Initiative research says 46 new HIEs are about to become operational. That points to the need for HIEs, though it may spell competitive trouble for existing HIEs.
- Patient advocates like Regina Holliday, “e-Patient Dave” deBronkhart and others continue to actively feed the discussion, offering perspective from patients, who are the people who matter most in the health IT. Their presence at trade shows, conferences and especially their constancy on social media keep vendors and policymakers on their toes – and pointed in the right direction at this crucial time in the evolution of clinical data standards.
- That the health IT world keeps tinkering with mHealth, including rock star app tester Bon Jovi of Slippery When Wet fame. Who knows what we’ll really be able to do with tablets and smartphones five years from now? Presently, it seems that mHealth constitutes mostly personal health monitoring, “I have a headache” on Facebook, consulting Dr. Google and rudimentary messaging with health care providers. But as ONC works to simplify health data standards in a Web-ready format and the FDA sorts out where the medical device ends and the smartphone data conduit starts, technology promises to unite patients and providers between visits. That will be a huge component of accountable care organizations (ACOs). It also will extend the reach of physicians to underserved populations where patients may not have home computers but they do have smartphones.
There are many more things, health IT-wise, for which to give thanks. But we’ll stop here and let you get out the deep fryer. That 23-lb bird isn’t going to cook itself, you know.