Monday, June 23, 2008

Consumerism and Clinical Knowledge

Providing the population with the right information at the right time to help them navigate the murky waters of health care delivery, insurance, hospitals, payors, denials, quality indicators and pay for performance statistics is going to be a key facet to the success or failure of any consumer driven revolution in health care.

The recent study by McKinsey “What Consumers Want in Health Care“ - summary here
Faced with health care decisions, consumers are concerned, confused, and unprepared. They rely heavily on personal recommendations and brand recognition, according to a recent McKinsey study
No big surprise here but if this is to change and the consumer is really to become informed and help drive change in health care delivery they need to have access to the right information
...48 percent report being prepared for common medical problems but only 15 percent for more disruptive medical scenarios...
To help satisfy this need consumers are already turning to the web in increasing numbers and estimates range from 50% to as high as 75/80% of patients use the web before and after visiting their physician. But much of the information available comes from a range of sources some less qualified than others. By providing structured data output as part of the clinical documentation process and delivering documents in a standard form that can be read but also imported into computer systems it should be possible to support this burgeoning need for clinical data as a natural part of the process - this is exactly what Clinical Document Architecture for Clinical
Clinical Documentation Architecture for Common Document Types (CDA4CDT) is intended to provide directly from dictation.

You can read more about the process and the concept in these articles
Guidelines Will Standardize Dictated Documents
HL7's first ballot in expected series under way
HL7 CDA: The Missing Link in Healthcare IT

As the McKinsey study revealed
Most people need additional guidance, education, and advice to make decisions
Innovative, cross-industry products that assist with the complex decision making will be highly valued by an influx of consumers eager for options but unsure where to turn
That's going to be difficult until we can standardize the clinical information coming out of clinicians offices and hospitals and make it available in machine readable form to consumers to aid their voyage of discovery in the new health care world of consumer driven choice

No comments: