Saturday, April 18, 2009

Health and information technology | HIT or miss | The Economist

Health and information technology | HIT or miss | The Economist: "... putting EHRs in the hands of patients. But this is controversial. Thomas Lee, the boss of Partners Community Healthcare, a large health provider in Boston, and a medical doctor himself, acknowledges that the days of the all-knowing doctor are gone. “I openly Google things I don’t know in front of my patients,” he says. But nor does he think patients should be given a free hand: “I want the provider to control records behind a firewall, and to let patients peep into them as necessary.”

That view is squarely opposed by Aurelia Boyer, the chief information officer for New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a former nurse. She thinks that health care is “paternalistic by nature.” Rather than wait for HIT integration among lumbering health-care giants, she wants to give patients access to their data immediately, in the hope of linking up the disconnected bits of the health system more speedily."

The benefits of giving patients a PHR seem to be obvious to everyone, except for doctors ! If I have complete access to my personal bank account so I can manage my wealth, why shouldn't I also have complete access to my personal health record, so I can manage my health ? I am sure many patients will do a much better job than their doctors are doing for them !

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