Would the Internet have become what it has become without interoperability?
Why doesn’t healthcare information technology learn from the Internet and become interoperable once and forever?
We all know the sophistic answers from healthcare IT and patient data protectors (or blockers):
- The patient data is our intellectual property
- We risk to lose our captive market
- We have to protect our patients’ data and their privacy
- Our patients’ data is our business cornerstone
The curious thing is that these statements are made by those that have very little to do with the healthcare side of health IT. These typically come from the IT side of it.
These answers also seem more as “job security” justifications rather than business ones.
I just wonder how someone can really believe that the data of a patient’s health status is considered the intellectual property of an organization. This one sophistic position is ludicrous at the very least. And it has been the most damaging of all of the excuses. It’s the main culprit of interoperability not succeeding in healthcare. And now that “data blocking” is being frowned upon even by CMS, it’s losing it’s previously held “power”.
On January 11th, 2016 at 5:17 PM, Andy Slavitt stated: “We are deadly serious about interoperability and data blocking will not be tolerated
My health data, or that of any other human, is not the intellectual property of any organization. How come we tolerate and allow this to happen?
Obviously, this is coming to an end. People are organizing themselves with claiming the right to free and comprehensive access of their health data.
And, damn yes, it should be free access because we are paying for the service!
There are movements like “Get My Health Data” that have spawned and are led by some heavy weights in healthcare or government, Farzad Mostashari and former Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Aneesh Chopra.
Interoperability is a national requirement. No longer can organizations practice “data blocking” but unfortunately, the lack of vision in the industry, has created the condition that giving the data to the patients it rightfully belongs to, requires the muscle of the government to enforce it.
I’ve been promoting and sponsoring “The National Health IT Interoperability Manifesto“, which consists of a declaration and a series of principles, which one of them will be that the patients’ data belongs to them and not the organization.
The Internet didn’t become the freeway of information because of those that blocked it. It became what it did because of those that opened their information to the world. And no, Al Gore did not invent the Internet.
While most business conservatives were prognosticating the unviability of the Internet as a profitable venture means, today the wealthiest of the world have made their fortunes to what initially appeared as fluke business models.
The companies that were trying to control information were the last to board the train of opportunities and they were left behind. Just look at what happened with the major paper news outlets. Witness what’s happening with the brick and mortar stores. The Internet is slowly taking over and replacing old-fashioned business approaches. And this is history repeating itself, this isn’t a new phenomena. Similar things occurred with the printing press and the industrial revolution.
So instead of blocking the data, data blockers, why don’t you foresee into the future and seize the hidden opportunities that will make your business viable with “freeing” the data.
There is a whole universe of opportunities with the “freed” data!
Think about the emerging technologies such as: precision or personalized medicine, genomics, pharmacogenomics, nanomedicine, and many more.
Definitely, your business will have to transform itself to succeed in the new awakening and paradigms, but this is a good thing.
Don’t wait until we finish building the healthcare interoperable freeway and the train has departed the station. It may be too late.