Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Health care reform at Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds is hosted this week at Healthcare Technology News with a special edition focusing on Health Care Reform. Interesting reads about what ails--and what may fix healthcare--from a wide range of perspectives make a trip over to the tech blog today particularly worthwhile.

Florence dot com, busy contemplating a move to Wordpress didn't go to Grand Rounds this week, but her sister blog over at Medscape did. (At On Your Meds, the topic Flo & Bo took on--how to spend $20 billion for health IT in a meaningful fashion--also came up, but no mention of bodily fluids occurred during the making of that post!)

I think the role of the consumer in healthcare is one worth exploring, and Grand Rounds is a great place for front line health care providers to hear directly from them. Seeing people at their most vulnerable, and benchmarking patients by the capabilities of those who are unlikely to be effective self-advocates is yet another huge disadvantage of our "in sickness and in more sickness" model of care. People who bring the same sensibilities to managing healthcare they bring to other high-stakes endeavors should help set the bar for patient engagement, with default strategies made to protect patients when they cannot assume these functions. (If you've missed how I once saved myself from a significant warfarin overdose, you can find it here.)

My parents, retired teachers living in central Florida, have online access to their medical records via a portal in their physician's EMR. The system also churns out a printed and up-to-date medication list following each visit. In the land of IT possibilities, these are modest things to be enthused about, yet they represent cutting edge patient involvement in health records.

Enjoy Grand Rounds today! (Judge Judy will not be attending, no need to roll up your pant legs.)

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