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Patient Command Tells Sec. Sebelius That Existing Technology Can Make Electronic Health Records Interoperable
Date:5/11/2009

The key: making it simpler.

MCLEAN, Va., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patient Command(R), Inc. is asking Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to adopt new rules defining how computers should exchange medical records electronically (be interoperable). Qualified Electronic Health Records are crucial in President Obama's stimulus legislation, and they must be interoperable under the new law. Sec. Sebelius faces a Dec. 31 deadline to adopt initial rules for interoperability.

Unfortunately, there has been no clear technical path to interoperability. Existing computer systems in hospitals and doctors' offices are typically incompatible, and can't exchange records. Worse, most proposed schemes for interoperability are too complex to be practical.

Patient Command's simplified recommendations are based on combining existing technology and evolving medical record standards in new ways. The new rules would require all Qualified Electronic Health Records to be capable of using a standard formatting process that exists today (called XML) to input and output medical record narrative. These functions can be added affordably to established (legacy) healthcare computer systems.

The present incompatible legacy systems could then routinely exchange narrative (and pictures such as X-Rays and MRIs) in standard formats that doctors use. The technology exists; it can be implemented as soon as the Secretary adopts new rules.

Once Qualified Electronic Health Records exchange standard narratives, people across the United States can more easily adopt electronic Personal Health Records (PHRs). PHRs can be safeguarded in health record banks, and consumers can compile, control, and own their medical records and those of their families - and they can better protect their privacy.

When individuals can use PHRs to help manage their health
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SOURCE Patient Command, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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