The Healthcare Communitys Project to C-U-R-E Health Information
Current Health IT and EHR Systemsare Fraught with Problems.
Greater Usefulness, Better Usability
and Real, Meaningful Interoperability
Requires a New Generation of Health IT Systems.
When we started on this journey, there was just the two of us. Now, there are more.
As the founders of this 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 used to describe the situations we see around us. And others see it too. 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.
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 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. Is that too much to ask?
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. 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 coordinate our research and manage the dissemination of our research results to the healthcare community.
We want to contribute our research results to a neutral and trusted organization − established and controlled by the healthcare community − that will proactively lead the 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?
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 are announcing 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. 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 it as our contribution to the community in which we work.
We’ve met 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 our efforts, 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.
We convinced that by working together, as a community of interest, we can do this!
We hope you do too, and we hope you'll join us on this journey.
The CURE ProjectSM is a community service program sponsored by New Health Networks, LLC