Thursday, January 3, 2019

Mad Libs for HealthIT

One of the predictions I made yesterday about what isn't going to change in 2019 is that we'll still be hearing about a lack of standards and interoperability in Health IT.

Something I've learned about these phrases over the years is that the speaker drops an important adjective or prepositional phrase that prevents full comprehension of the statement, which, from their viewpoint is almost inevitably true.

Consider the following two statements:

There are no               A               Health IT standards                B                .


We don't have interoperability                      C                      in Health IT                      D                     .

For A, substitute one of the following:
  • Agreed upon
  • ANSI Approved
  • Available
  • Deployed
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Deploy
  • Inexpensive
  • Implemented
  • Pervasive
  • Rolled Out

For B, substitute one of the following:
  • in <HealthIT Product we use today>
  • that we are willing to use
  • that we know about
  • that won't change our workflow
  • won't impact our revenue
For C, add "between my institution and my"  and fill in with one of the following:
  • patients
  • lab
  • referral network
  • local hospital
  • public health agency
  • clearing house
  • payer
  • billing service

For D, add "because", and fill in with one of the following:
  • the vendor hasn't been selected yet
  • we don't know how to do that
  • we haven't upgraded our Health IT to support that
  • we haven't deployed that feature yet
  • we aren't willing to pay for it
  • they don't have that capability yet (because <pick one of the above and change we to they>)
  • the [regulations|measures] that we want to support aren't out yet
Some of these are good reasons for why there isn't interoperability (or perhaps even standards), and others aren't.  When this information is communicated up the chain to Health IT leaders, regulators, or legislators, inevitably, these auxiliary clarifying phrases (if they were ever uttered) are often dropped to simplify the message.

So, in 2019, before I let them allow my blood to boil, I've resolved to try to identify what might be missing in these statements when I see them.  And if and when I can figure them out, I'll try to report on them here.


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