TR+-+Dec+2009+-+Prescription+Networking

TR+-+Dec+2009+-+Prescription+Networking - FEATURE STORY 34...

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Unformatted text preview: FEATURE STORY 34 TECHNOLOGY REVIEW NOVEMBER /DECEMBER 2009 health centers that are most remarkable. The health centers arent owned by BMC, so there were plenty of institutional barriers to their sharing patient data. And what this group of institutions has started doing to break down those barriers is an example of what the entire U.S. health-care system needs to do to make the best use of information technology. In terms of a hospital taking the initia- tive to do what they have donelink together, using national stan- dards, a set of individual physician-based medical recordsits not all that common, says John Halamka, CIO of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who serves on regional and national bodies advancing health IT. BMC is a leader in health-care information exchange. The eff ort is especially sig- nifi cant because BMC serves so many low-income patientswho suff er disproportionately from chronic diseases and often have fragmented histories of care, making it all the more important for information to be shared among care providers. Inside the BMC emergency room, Sinues vomiting did not stop. The attending physician, Aneesh Narang, was understandably wor- ried. He asked if this had happened before; she muttered that it had happened only in childhood. A sudden and acute bout of vomiting might indicate appendicitis or ischemic bowel disease (the death of intestinal tissue), either of which would require speedy surgery. In the absence of more information, most emergency-room doctors would order a CT scan (at least $2,100), and possibly an abdominal ultrasound (another $500), to see what was going on. But Narang called up the electronic records from Codman and found lab data and physicians notes that spelled out her allergies, medications, and history of medical problems. These records were certainly not cutting-edge medical ITno genomic data, not even any images. But they would make a big dif- ference. Narang quickly saw that Sinue hadnt told the full story. In fact, vomiting was a chronic issue; it topped her list of medical A crow ying from Vera Sinues apartment in Bostons Roxbury neighborhood to her job as an insurance rep- resentative near the Charles River in Brighton would skirt the edge of the Longwood Medical Area, a district of medical institutions including Brigham and Womens Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Childrens Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. These institutions are among the nations most respected. They supplied some of the experts now leading the Obama administra- tions eff ort to reform the nations health-care system....
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TR+-+Dec+2009+-+Prescription+Networking - FEATURE STORY 34...

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