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Welcome to 'Healthcare 2.0,' Post-Passage: It's All About IT

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, March 25, 2010

In the words of David Perera on the Fierce Government blogsite, “Information technology runs like a thread through the health insurance reform bill signed into law March 23 by President Obama.”

Some examples he gives are a mandate to have a plan for putting all patient records in a consistent electronic format by 2012, and the establishment by this July of Web sites for consumers to compare sector health insurance plans within their states.

Details on the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are posted here:

The Obama administration's stated goal is to have every U.S. resident's medical records in electronic format to help avoid mistakes and cut down on delays and waste. There are plenty of privacy concerns about this approach. But for health care and insurance organizations, the new, technology-intensive world we are entering, often referred to as 'Healthcare 2.0,' now requires the effective management of terabytes and terabytes worth of information. Patient records, administrative information and medical images, to name a few, need to be effectively and securely managed and stored by health care establishments and insurers. The other part of the challenge is organizational; dealing with the burgeoning amount of regulation around the way this information is managed.

The information also needs to have a high degree of integrity and consistency. Data is all over the place—in patient records, customer relationship management solutions, staffing and medical inventory systems, and claims processing and billing applications.

The bottom line is that any organization connected to the health care sector is going to need lots of expertise in data management and architecture—and sooner than later.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (2)

Agreed--data security will be a critical concern. Do you know where your personal health records are now? Most likely they are stored in unlocked file cabinets in all the physician offices and hospitals you've ever been to.
Centralized storage and a standard data format will be a big challenge.
I wonder if the existing healthcare information system vendors will fight over this, like the recent Blu-Ray vs. HD Disk battles.

Posted by: Michael M | March 26, 2010 12:03 PM

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The goal of the Act is good. Proper implementation of all features in an operable manner will prove difficult. Protetcting the data will be a constant challenge. Getting medical providers to enter data in a consistent manner across the nation will probably prove frustrating. So, we must use the best minds available to address this "improvement" in our health care world.

Posted by: icanalert | March 26, 2010 11:27 AM

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