What if GM were involved in EHR?

Goodness knows, the whole car thing did not work our too well for them

Do you ever think about the origination of some of your ideas?  For me, the good and the bad just seem to materialize.  Like the time a friend and I were hiking a peak in the Sangre de Cristo range in Colorado.  It had taken the better part of six hours of circuitous climbing to reach the summit.  It was late in the fall, and the temperatures were around freezing.  Roiling storm clouds were racing towards us from the west.

If we returned by the same route we knew we’d be caught up in a storm that we were neither prepared nor dressed to handle.  I spotted our car about six thousand feet below us.  If we headed straight to it, I thought we could cut our descent time by about an hour.  To do this though required that we make our own trail via a hunt and peck route of whatever the terrain permitted.  We dropped the first fifteen hundred feet in a matter of twenty minutes using a glissade.  This technique allows you to moonwalk and slide down a scree field, using your ice ax as a break.

After an hour we reached a point about two thousand feet above our car.  It was sleeting, and the wind was whipping around the face of the mountain.  There in the middle of nowhere stood a sign from the sheriff that read, “Devil’s Gulch, turn back.”  Our choice was to reclimb the mountain or to ignore the sign and press on.  I hate do-overs.  How tough can this be, I goaded him?  Be smart, kick it into high gear, and we’ll be done.

We pressed forward.  Fifteen minutes later, we reached a four hundred foot limestone cliff.  Between us and the next semi-reasonable terrain was a rather deadly looking wall of rock and scrub pine.  My pack made me feel like it was forcing me forward, so I removed it and tossed it over, thinking I’d retrieve it later.  Watching my pack bound from rock to rock for what seemed like more than a minute did nothing for putting me at ease.

We spent more time discussing each step than we spent taking it.  Those four hundred feet took us two hours.  Not my best idea, but it didn’t kill us.

So, during my run today, I had another idea.  This one is about OnStar, the GM tracking system.  I typed in to Google, “How does OnStar Work?”  Lots of hits.  The more I read, the more I began to feel like if one ignored the technology and focused on the concept a real argument could be made for pairing the idea, and a few others, and seeing what type of EHR network might be possible using a similar set of tools.

The OnStar concept is termed telematics, a combination of telecommunications and informatics.  Telematics is the integration of computing, wireless communications, and GPS.  It provides information to a mobile service like a phone, PDA, or laptop.  It is used for sending, receiving, and storing information over very large networks.  So, why is nobody having the conversation that says what if we image a similar network with added security that works from a healthcare provider’s office rather than a car.

OnStar doesn’t need Rhios.  OnStar has a single set of standards.  Now, instead of arguing why something like this can’t work in healthcare, isn’t there argument is seeing if it can?

saintPaul M. Roemer
Chief Imaginist, Healthcare IT Strategy

1475 Luna Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335
+1 (484) 885-6942

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