David Brailer, M.D., recently named national health information technology coordinator at HHS, will deliver the keynote address at the TEPR 2004 show May 19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Brailer, the founder and former chief executive officer of clinical-data consulting firm CareScience of Philadelphia, and more recently a senior fellow at the San Francisco-based Health Technology Center, was appointed Friday by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson.
C. Peter Waegemann, CEO of the Boston-based Medical Records Institute, sponsor of the 20th annual TEPR (Toward an Electronic Patient Record) show, scored the coup by inviting Brailer after his appointment to join him and a panel of healthcare IT veterans at the opening plenary session from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center.
As new as Brailer is to the position, Waegemann said the nation's healthcare IT czar probably won't have a complete game plan in place. However, "we hope that as much as he has a strategy, it will be his first public appearance to talk about his priorities," Waegemann said. "I think it will be an opportunity to learn where he is going to lead the U.S. in healthcare IT."
In addition to Brailer and Waegemann, speakers for the opening session include physician IT leaders Bill Braithwaite, M.D., also known as "Doctor HIPAA" for his role as a policy advisor to the Clinton Administration during the development of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; Lawrence Weed, M.D., the father of the SOAP note and president and founder of Problem-Knowledge Coupler Corp., developer of a computerized diagnosis software program; and Andrew Barbash, M.D., a neurologist and director of mobile health for the 26-year-old Medical Records Institute.
Waegemann said that, after all these years, it finally seems there is an alignment of planets in healthcare IT and that less may be more when it comes to rolling out interconnected systems of patient information.
Forget about vast databases of information that can be finely sliced using unique patient identifiers -- privacy concerns won't allow that to happen, Waegemann said. Patents' names and other basic information will have to do as identifiers for clinicians pulling up the information they need.
Wholesale sloshing of hospital financial data won't wash either: Hospitals haven't wanted to exchange it for competitive reasons, he said.
"What we really want to exchange among providers is something like the CCR (Continuity of Care Record)," Waegemann said.
"The CCR is not the EHR (electronic health record)," he said. "With the EHR, you have 95% of the information in the hospital that is of no interest to the follow-up doctor."
He compared the situation, from a doctor's perspective, to a customer wanting to take money out of a cash machine. An EHR would be the equivalent of accessing all of the financial information available within the bank about the individual, including credit reports, late payments and loan defaults.
"It doesn't matter, when what we want is what's in the checking account," he said.
Similarly, physicians, when they pull a patient's record, need to know a much smaller data set, such as what allergies the patient has, what were the most recent treatments and what is the patient's current condition.
"What we want is the relevant information, not the overall patient record," he said.
About 4,000 attendees are expected at the show, according to institute officials. The show runs May 17-21.