Addressing Inequalities in Urban Healthcare

It’s not news to anyone that urban populations are wildly diverse. Some individuals thrive in our nation’s cities with world-class healthcare, and quality education, abundant food choices, reliable transportation, and other positive social determinants of health. On the other hand, many people struggle in neighborhoods with high incidences of chronic disease, food insecurity, and homelessness. And the truth is, this same pattern repeats itself across the United States.

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Catherine Thomas
The Year of Universal Medical Record Sharing

Ask any doctor if they can freely share digital patient records outside of their organization, or access patient information stored in another organization’s EMR, and the answer is typically a resounding “no”.  This unfortunate reality perpetuates the use of fax and express or postal mail and contributes to frustration and burnout. In a recent study, 56% of physicians cited too much charting and paperwork as the primary cause.  In 2018, this can and must change.

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Catherine Thomas
Resistors and Connectors in EMR Interoperability

According to ONC, over 96% of hospitals and 78% of doctors use electronic medical records (EMRs). And while broad adoption of EMRs has been effective for enabling quick access to patient records within facilities and streamlining coding and billing, among other benefits, there are still many challenges sharing patient records and communicating patient information outside of the organization, between providers who are competitive, or geographically dispersed, between those using different EMR vendors, and even in cases when using different instances of the same EMR...

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Catherine Thomas
Ensuring Security and Privacy In a Data-Driven Healthcare Setting

Security and privacy have long been THE big worry and a major impediment to widespread adoption of digital medical information sharing.  Many of us are well versed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was created to address these concerns and to enable portability, and yet so much emphasis has been placed on privacy that the market has been slow to enable the sharing of information. HIPAA, like other security and privacy standards, is more expensive, onerous, and complex than it needs to be, and there is significant room for improvement.  But, as is, HIPAA does work well enough to move forward...

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Hannah Peterson
Health Data Standardization and the Argument for Push

For many years, a majority of healthcare industry leaders and regulators have envisioned a technology architecture in which essentially all medical information about a given person would be stored or accessible in one location. The record, with the proper rights and permissions, would then be available to every appropriate person on the care team, to scientists for research purposes, and to the patient and her personal care circle...

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Hannah Peterson