In response to Todd Sloane's editorial "Scrap the national IT plan":
While we're waiting for national health records to materializewhich will likely be well after 2014many healthcare organizations and patients are bridging the communication gap today.
As the editorial notes, there is an absolute need for simplicity and for secure record sharing. More than 260 million individual payers currently fund the system, via payroll deductions or taxes. The health plans and third-party administrators that are the fiscal intermediaries between patients and providers hold a trove of data in the form of medical and pharmacy claims. Increasingly those healthcare organizations are using these data to provide privacy-protected, Web-based personal health records to individual subscribers and their dependents.
As these data are unlocked, analyzed and turned into action, consumers and their agentsproviders and case managersgain a comprehensive view of increased preventive care, improved outcomes and reduced costs.
This resolution is not waiting for the bureaucracy to save costs and save lives.
Chris Kryder, M.D.Founder and chief executive officerD2HawkeyeWaltham, Mass. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.