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Information exchange key to improving care quality


Posted: April 24, 2009 - 10:00 am ET
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In response to Joseph Conn’s “Mayo, Microsoft PHR alliance not linked to clinic EHR":

Today information is valuable and barriers that limit exchange appear shortsighted. The lack of integration in the Mayo Clinic organization’s effort may serve as an example. Outpatient providers have access to data a 15-minute encounter generates. What happens to the data gathered by patients themselves during the remaining 168 hours of the week? It goes largely unreported. Why not allow self-reporting such as daily blood pressures to be attached in some way to the record? This will serve to increase data, create efficiency and guide decisionmaking.

Currently if members present a sheet of paper mapping the clinical progress, many practitioners will copy and place it into the record. In the future, by establishing an electronic patient/provider interface the provider could review the data, establish its credibility, confirm the clinical progress possibly with additional data, and then electronically sweep the self-reported data into the official record. The same process could be included with other self-reported measures such as blood-sugar and weight-control directives. Information exchange is necessary to improve quality of care.

Ernie Vesta, M.D.

Chief medical officer

JBS Packerland

Green Bay, Wis.

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