The leading voices in healthcare are talking about the next big thing on the horizon. That would be CHR (Comprehensive Health Record). But what about the unfinished business that still exists for healthcare records? How do you incorporate the data from incoming external documents that bog down clinics and hospitals? This data comes from faxes, paper, and scanning workflows.
Actually, people like Judy Faulkner (Epic) are talking about some of the very same source documents – and more. (Forgive me, but I have to point out that this is much the same vision that Extract has focused on for years.) The CHR would include other critical data types. As envisioned by Faulkner, these would include social determinants, nutrition, sleep, and geography. These are generally ignored in today’s electronic medical record. Epic isn’t alone; other EMR vendors are echoing a similar message about CHR. The discussion also includes the concept of real-time availability.
CHR data can be very specific. This could include social determinants such as: what people eat, how much they sleep, if they are obese or live in a food desert (or both), and whether they are lonely. All those factors can have an enormous impact on an individual’s health. The list of social determinants could become quite long.
In the research I completed, I turned up justification for the CHR concept. Other countries spend more money addressing social factors and felt this is why they have healthier people. Mentioned above is obesity, so let’s continue with that. The argument for social determinants can be made when observing obesity in the United States. There are a myriad of resulting health complications from obesity alone. Thus, they should include this in patient’s medical history.
It seems to me that the current focus is on merit-based incentives and the ability to track ejection fraction scores, colonoscopies, and mammograms. This is to ensure protocols are followed for patients. This is today's version of what is coming next with a comprehensive health record. Extract is helping healthcare organizations find merit-based information. In the future, we will be prepared to help extract social determinants information.
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About the Author: David Rasmussen
David Rasmussen is the President of Extract. With 30 years’ experience leading software companies, David is driven by the challenge to consistently find groundbreaking ways to solve customer problems. David finds it rewarding to hit the customer’s target and create a great team, build a solid infrastructure, and emerge with a strong value proposition.