The Healthcare Communitys Project to C-U-R-E Health Information
Current Health IT and EHR Systemsare Fraught with Problems.
Achieveing Greater Usefulness, Better
Usability and Real, Meaningful Interoperability
Requires a New Approach to Developing Health IT Systems.
It's Time to Embark on a New Path.
When we started on this journey, there was just the two of us. Now, there are more.
As the founders of this community-based effort, we’re interested in, actively involved in, and passionate about healthcare, health information technology and health information exchange. Steven is a medical doctor and a highly regarded medical informaticist. Bob is a health information strategist, consultant, and award winning author. Individually, and as a team, we know a fair amount about the fields in which we operate. We know that information technology, properly designed and applied, can have an extraordinarily positive impact on health and wellness care. In that regard, we're very optimistic.
But, we’re also very concerned.
Our concern centers around the generally deplorable state of the health information technology (health IT) systems that the healthcare community uses to capture, update, report and exchange patients’ health information. Many are just plain horrible. Ineffective, standalone, kludgy, workflow-oblivious systems, and near-impenetrable organizational and enterprise information silos are the terms we have heard, and used ourselves, to describe the situations we see around us. You probably have direct experience with such systems. If you do, please read on.
If the healthcare community is to actually realize the extraordinary potential of health IT– as a powerful enabler to help us achieve the goals of the Triple Aim − then clearly something must be done. We know that just idly sitting by and hoping things will get better will not work. We also know that failure, especially in this instance, is not a viable option. But, what are we to do?
Until now the larger healthcare community has, rightly so, focused on providing healthcare. It has primarily relied on various agencies of the federal government (CMS, ONC, AHRQ, NIST, etc.) and the legions of health IT vendors to specify and deliver the kind of health IT systems we need. There have been some great successes. Unfortunately, those successes have been few and far between and the healthcare community finds itself with hundreds, even thousands, of different IT systems that simply do not measure up to our expectations. And, because our fellow community members are the intended users of those systems, that's a problem. A problem the community must face.
We believe a new approach is needed. It's time to embark on a new path.
Such an approach should result in the availability of the kind of health IT systems that meet the healthcare community's needs and expectations. The community needs the kind of systems that won’t impede our attainment of the Triple Aim, but will actually accelerate it. We've all been waiting for health IT systems that meet the healthcare community’s needs, are based on community-defined requirements, and are designed and developed using industry-wide best practice-based techniques and tools. They haven't arrived. Something has to change.
Our research results led to insight, then to action.
We believe that what we’ve learned during our recent research project can contribute to that new approach; can start us on a better path. We feel so strongly about the need for a new community-based approach that we’re prepared to contribute the results of our research to help jump start an effort to design and develop the kind of health IT systems the healthcare community wants, and needs.
We’ve established an independent entity, New Health Networks, separate from our respective employers and day-to-day activities, to house our research results. Through this organization we can coordinate and manage the dissemination of our research results to the healthcare community.
We seek to contribute our research results to a neutral and trusted organization − established and controlled by the healthcare community − that will proactively lead an effort to gather and curate the community’s requirements, mediate differences, and provide a central repository of those requirements.
How is this different from the current approach, the current path that health IT is on?
We believe stakeholders in the federal government and the health IT vendor community have much to contribute and should join in the development of the healthcare community’s requirements for health IT, but they should not manage the requirements gathering or specifications dissemination efforts. More of the same will not yield different results. We believe those efforts should be under the direct coordination of the healthcare community, the people who are the actual users of the health IT systems in question.
To initiate this effort, we initiated The CURE ProjectSM.
The objective of The CURE Project is the improvement of health IT systems generally, and specifically those IT systems that capture, update, report, and exchange (CURE) health information at the point of care. In the interim, until we find an appropriate community-based organization, we will house and incubate The CURE Project at New Health Networks. We view our activity as a contribution to the community in which we work.
We’ve meeting with a number of respected leaders and influencers in the healthcare community and are gratified by their interest and support. A number have joined us as advisors. If you’re interested in contributing your ideas or expertise to The CURE Project, or simply being informed of our progress, we invite you to contact us.
If you know of others in the healthcare community that might be interested in this effort, we invite you to let them know about The CURE Project. You can do both by clicking on the appropriate menu link on the left of this page and filling in the online forms.
The CURE ProjectSM is a community service project of New Health Networks, LLC