David Brailer made information technology interoperability the focal point of his two-year stint from mid-2004 to mid-2006 as the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
He also championed the regional health information organization as a key building block in his proposed national health information network.
Yet RHIOs are among the least implemented of the IT projects in our survey (ranked 11th of 13 IT project choices), among the most commonly named for projects not contemplated at this time (ranked second) and only in the middle of the pack of projects now being implemented (eighth).
The 19th annual Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Technology Issues also shows that the buzz for the so-called Health 2.0 applications such as information portals, patient messaging, home health applications and personal health-record systems has had little purchase with leaders of healthcare organizations participating in our survey. One happy note for Health 2.0 enthusiasts is that their ship may come insometime.
Of the 13 IT projects to choose from, 36.8% of healthcare leaders picked PHRs, the quintessential Health 2.0 application, as the IT system they plan to go after but have not started, making PHRs the top pick in that category. In other words, theyre thinking about PHRs, but as something to do later, at some unspecified time.
Another Health 2.0 application, patient portals, followed in popularity in the category of IT projects planned but not started, chosen by 28.6% of respondents as a project for the indefinite future.
But when asked which systems theyd implement in the next 12 months, portals fell to a No. 6 ranking (chosen by just 12.3% of participants), and PHRs were in a tie for No. 8 (selected by 10.3%).
Only 26% of participants (ranked fifth) said they were implementing a portal at this time, and 14.8% were implementing a PHR (11th place). When respondents were queried about systems they already have implemented, portals were selected by just 13% of respondents and ranked next to last. PHRs were dead last, named by just 3.9%. And for systems not contemplated at this time, PHRs ranked highest, selected by 34.2% of respondents, while portals ranked fourth, chosen by 20.1%.