On one hand, there’s the ethics of the situation. Dr. Benninger explained, I personally feel that industry relationships are appropriate to move forward the science of medicine-the docs can’t do without the industry, and the industry can’t do without the docs. The stickiness of the situation lies in defining the boundaries between industry and practice.
Explore This IssueJuly 2008
On the other hand, there’s the feasibility of a solution. As Mr. Howard discovered, EMR systems without advertisements might be available, but often at a high price-and often at a price too high for independent medical practices. So while some systems are feasible in terms of financing and infrastructure for certain groups, such as institutional powerhouses such as the Cleveland Clinic, they are logistically out of reach for many who choose to practice privately, like many of Practice Fusion’s users.
It seems there’s only one definitive axiom in the midst of this period of changing technologies: The patient should come first. According to Dr. Benninger, Physicians’ decisions should be motivated by the best option for the patient, not pressure from various external sources.
Google, Cleveland Clinic Partner to Test Personal Health Record System
Google has recently released Google Health, a free, Cleveland Clinic-tested, Web-based personal health record (PHR) program.
The core goal of Google Health is to give patients the ability to manage their own health information as well as share information with multiple physicians, health care providers, and pharmacies at their discretion
Currently, more than 100,000 Cleveland Clinic patients use Cleveland Clinic MyChart, which allows them to view their test results and current medications, as well as schedule appointments and receive health reminders. More than 1500 volunteer MyChart users evaluated Google Health’s features and security. Google Health enables users to add new data; connect to articles, discussion groups, and other resources; and access MyChart, even outside the Cleveland Clinic’s system. The program is password-protected, and Google announced that personal health information would be stored on separate hardware from the company’s other endeavors in order to add another layer of security.
The portability of the system is one of its strengths, according to Cleveland Clinic and Google representatives. For example, people who reside in Ohio for part of the year and in a different state for another part of the year will now be able to share their health data with providers in both states with ease.
In addition to the Cleveland Clinic, partners include Allscripts, CVS, Longs Drug Stores, Quest Diagnostics, and Walgreens.