America is a big country, both in terms of geographic territory as well as population. This presents a number of challenges that naturally arise from such a large territory and people. One of those is the interoperability of the country’s vast and ever-more-intertwined medical system. And as the 20th century has given way to the technology-reliant 21st century, this problem has only gotten far worse.
Drew Madden identifies the problem and offers solutions
Drew Madden is one of the most celebrated figures within the world of healthcare IT. Although not a household name, Madden has become legendary within the field of healthcare IT consulting both for his accomplishments as an executive as well as his original theories and proven solutions for some of the toughest problems facing the industry.
Now, Madden has founded his own healthcare consulting company. Known as Evergreen Healthcare Partners, Madden has grown his new firm into one of the most prominent and cutting-edge healthcare IT consultancies in the country.
One of the main focuses of this new company has been solving the dire problems that the country faces regarding the interoperability of electronic hospital records and other patient information. Madden identifies the two crucial aspects of this problem as being record availability and acceptability. While the first, availability, may seem like the more immediate concern, it turns out that acceptability actually poses the biggest threat on the ground.
Hospital systems that were largely insulated from each other throughout their formative years have created in-house systems for the handling of medical records. But this can present huge and potentially life-threatening problems when a patient from one geographic area or its hospital system is admitted to another hospital in a different network. Patient records can become completely incompatible, forcing the doctors to redo costly, risky and completely redundant medical tests. Meanwhile, that patient may have life-saving treatment delayed due to the attending physicians simply not possessing the information that they should and otherwise would have.
Madden says that the tasks involved in making all hospital records compatible across all systems are formidable. But it is a job that Evergreen is taking on with intrepid resolve.