What are the implications for electronic health records in an era of consumers’ adoption of mobile phones and online social networks?

That’s the question posed and pondered by Aviv Shachak and Alejandro Jadad of the University of Toronto, published in this weeks Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The opportunity is to build a people-centered health system, they say, the kind envisioned in the IOM’s report, Crossing the Quality Chasm.

Drs. Shachak and Jadad propose 7 building blocks to use when adopting EHRs that will help the U.S. get to the Holy Grail of people-centered health:

1. Use tools to promote health, not just deal with acute disease.
2. Make it interoperable and integrated.
3. Use multimedia to ensure usability and clear communication.
4. Support virtual interactions.
5. Integrate available social networking tools.
6. Promote optimal health outcomes and resource appropriately.
7. Adopt open and collaborative systems, and balance privacy, learning from the successful models such as PatientsLikeMe and the Genetic Alliance.

The authors conclude that these components would help optimize the $20 billion spend on EHR adoption included in ARRA stimulus funding.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: As health citizens take on more responsibility for making clinical care decisions and financial outlays for themselves and their families, they need data liquidity: the free movement of information. Think of data liquidity as an underpinning for a consumer-driven health market. In addition, transparency and useful, usable tools add to the well-oiled machine that enable participatory health.

That’s, ultimately, what a people-centered health system should be about, and what Dr. Shachak and Dr. Jadad are proposing. These seven pillars would make the difference between EHR adoption that serves doctors and payers, and EHR adoption that enables participatory health.

{Ironic that two researchers based in Canada came up with this framework. O Canada! I must profess a bias here, as my mother was Canadian and I have many attachments to our neighbor to the north.}

1 Comment on EHRs in the era of social networks – implications for participatory health

Steve said : Guest Report 13 years ago

Jane,With all due respect to our Canadian friends, the issue isn't people-centered care but person or patient centered care. In today's age of tailored medicine, physicians are now able to target specific cells with designer drugs. They recognize that they need to treat some problems on a 1-to-1 basis. Why can't physicians take this same approach when communicating with patients? Just as each person's genetic structure or clinical condition is different, so are their belief, attitudes and motivations with respect to health and health care. As such, we need to get to the point where physicians can leverage the data in EHRs and PHRs, as well as patient preferences, to tailor what they say, how they say, where they say it (e-mail, Twitter, face-to-face, etc.).When we get down to person centered or true patient centered care...we will finally be on to something. Steve Wilkins, MPHMind the Gaphttp://healthecommunications.wordpress.com/

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