As a survivor of a life threatening medical condition, my motivation for starting this initiative and exploration stems from a number of experiences as a patient during treatment. I also have 20+ years in the information technology field, implementing numerous types of enterprise systems in the public and private sectors. In the early stages of diagnosis in 2006, I wasn’t at all sure that I would survive. During my five plus years of treatment at two major university teaching hospitals, I had many experiences and encounters with the medical profession across several departments and across institutions. I also spent many hours observing and thinking about how cumbersome and inefficient healthcare delivery systems have become, particularly when attempting to coordinate care within and across institutions. In many, if not most instances where multiple care providers were involved, I had to become my own care coordinator and case manager. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought if I ever survive this, I should probably try to do something about what I observed and my experiences with care coordination, or lack thereof, and care delivery in healthcare.
As fate would have it, upon my recovery, I had to opportunity to work at the Department of Veterans Affairs on an issue closely related to patients and patient records, Identity and Access Management (IAM), one of the major issues in healthcare today. I subsequently had the opportunities to work with DOD’s Defense Health Information Management Systems (DHIMS), the Department of Health & Human Services, and the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG)/Medical Command(MEDCOM), all on issues relating to or affecting Electronic Health Records.
So now, at this time in my life, I would like to contribute to the discussions regarding innovative healthcare solutions, solutions for the 21st Century, the age of the Internet, and the organizational and cultural changes needed to support them. In part as a way of thanking the many wonderful Physicians, Nurses, Radiologists, Technicians, and supporting Staff who helped my survive. Thank you all!