As of this writing (late February 2008), the presidential campaign is in full swing. Although Senator John McCain has virtually wrapped up his quest to become the Republican Party nominee, Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still struggling to win their party's nomination.
In the coming months, you will probably hear and read a lot about personal health records, as two technology heavyweights roll out initiatives designed to spur the mass consumerization of health information. The race between Google and Microsoft to apply the resources of the Internet to personalized healthcare might be great for consumers, but how will physicians benefit, if at all?
To promote adoption, MGH has taken advantage of new safe harbors in Stark rules and anti-kickback legislation to subsidize software licenses, implementation services, and support services for participating practices affi liated with MaineGeneral hospitals.
With the field of PHRs now significantly expanding to include providers, payers, employers, and information technology industry giants, such as Microsoft and Google, public awareness and attitudes regarding PHRs have changed.
Allowing your patients to manage some aspects of their medical records seems like it could save your practice valuable time spent re-keying information scribbled onto forms, let alone some cold hard cash. But there are defi nite drawbacks and kinks that have yet to be worked out.
It is unfortunate that there is a serious problem inherent in physician report cards, because report cards have rapidly become an extremely popular tool for improving the quality of American healthcare.