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All Things HIT

Dec 16 2010   11:33PM GMT

Personal Health Information is crucial from Birth!

Posted by: AllinHIT

When I was prematurely born, I had serious breathing problems, and according to my parents, was diagnosed with a form of asthma.  This resulted in a month-long stay in a pediatric ICU with my mother along my bedside.  Now, directly related to my occupation as a Health IT professional, I reflect on my birth circumstances often.  

There are many questions I have about my condition at birth.  What was the official diagnose?  What drugs were administered? What were the subjective and objective facts of my condition?  What are the hospital discharge notes?  What education was provided to my parents? What was the assessment and treatment plan? What were the survival rates at that time for my condition? (I would like to think I was beating the odds) I have lots of questions, and no answers!  The act of getting these answers, among the myriad of questions, would be a daunting task, maybe even impossible. 

I have many reasons for advocating EHR adoption, and my personal birth experience,  mixed with my knowledge of EHR’s, PHR’s, and all things HIT, is one of those reasons.  The technological capabilities didn’t exist then, but they do now, and EHR adoption will be a welcome site among children hospitals.  In the December issue of the monthly publication, Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, a survey revealed that less than 3% of children hospitals have a compreshensive EHR.  Of course, like all other providers in the delivery system, the 108 hospitals that responded, are blaming cost as the main culprit. Regardless, we are in a different period of time, and in this HITECH world of today, I am hopeful of change. 

Of course, hard and soft costs associated with implementing EHR technology, cannot be ignored.  However, in juxtaposition, I can develop a worksheet showing a positive ROI by increasing efficiencies, reducing errors, eliminating duplicate tests, and even can include HITECH incentive dollars in the calculation.  Hence, I am not debating EHR adoption,  nor all the relevant statistics, and possible ROI’s.  We know the ability to reduce ED visits, hospitalizations, adverse drug effects, are all possible and probable, using a comprehensive EHR.  The thought of this technology being applied to children hospitals, the entity responsible for treating and managing diseases for these precious humans, is even more tantalizing.  Don’t we owe it to our children?  After all, doesn’t valuable PHI begin at birth?

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Tee1113  |   Dec 19, 2010  7:33 AM (GMT)

I agree that we owe it to our children. I also had health problems during childhood with little to no records of the health problems recorded. My parents have passed away and they also had various illnesses. This lack of records or information has made it very difficult for me to determine family health issues that may be hereditary thus making information I leave for my children also very difficult.


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