There is a growing debate emerging in many countries about the value of regional and national electronic health record systems, most of which are still in the development stage. Recently, high profile criticism has emerged suggesting that national EHR initiatives in the US and the UK are going in the wrong direction.
In the US (http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20090806_7349.php?oref=topstory) Eric Schmidt, Google CEO and member of the President’s Council on Science and Technology (PCAST) stated during a PCAST sessions that “the national health IT system should be based on Web records that patients can control”. When David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, suggested that his office is working on plans that will allow certain kinds of communications with personal health records, Schmidt responded that “Giving me a summary … is not the same thing as giving me the record.”
During the same meeting, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chieft research and strategy officer said that “the administration also should focus more on how to manage medical data — including metadata to locate key pieces of information quickly — rather than on the specifics of the electronic health records”. Richard Levin, president of Yale University, pointed out the current electronic health record systems are proprietary and don’t interoperate. He stated “What is out there is not very good” and that “the reality is dismal”.
In the UK, a similar attack on their current eHealth architecture is raging. The opposition Conservative party is proposing use of personal health record services such as those offered by Google and Microsoft in place of the current architecture deployed by the NHS National Programme for IT.
The Conservatives state that, if elected they would “stop imposing central IT systems on the NHS” and instead “allow healthcare providers to use and develop the IT they have already purchased and developed, within a rigorous framework of interoperability”. The Conservatives propose that “Patient records should be stored locally rather than on a national database, with the capability of transferring the information when necessary”.
What elements of these two debates are relative to Canada?
US and UK suggestions re: PHR vs. legacy EMR/EHR