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Hackensack CIO tells personal tale of health data interoperability woe

Shafiq Rab, M.D., VP and CIO of Hackensack University Medical Center, discusses ICD-10 and his brush with lacking health data interoperability.

Editor's note: This podcast and a companion interview with Michael Archuleta, director of IT and PACS administrator for Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad, Colorado, respond to the results of the 2014 Health IT Purchasing Intentions Survey from and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Download your copy here.

Shafiq Rab is an M.D., as well as the VP and CIO of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. More importantly, he's a husband and father.

In the days leading up to this podcast interview, one of Rab's family members had a healthcare episode that started out looking like an emergency situation but that turned out to be nothing more than a close call.

While all's well that ends well, Rab found out firsthand about the very real health data interoperability woes in the U.S. healthcare system, as he struggled to get an EKG from one provider to another. He finally took matters into his own hands by shooting a picture of the EKG with his smartphone and texting the picture back to a Hackensack cardiologist himself. It led Rab to declare at the HealthImpact East conference that you should keep copies of your medical records on your smartphone for now, "if you want to live."

This story and some of Rab's other opinions -- informed by his recent personal foray into the nuts and bolts of health data interoperability -- feature heavily in this podcast. We discuss the many health IT requirements for meaningful use stage 2, ICD-10 implementation, the ramifications of the ICD-10 delay, and 2014 and 2015 ONC certification standards. More importantly, we also cover how a CIO can budget for all the tech transitions currently piling up for U.S. healthcare providers.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Don Fluckinger, news director, or contact @DonFluckinger on Twitter.

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