De-tangling medical data fragmentation

Resilience: We realize that success is not a path that is foreign of failure – and that is fine. The strength to keep trying and forging forward is what is important

Compassion: We recognize that in order to thrive, others must be part of the equation. As a result, caring for others and their wellbeing is a paramount consideration.

Healthy Mindfulness: A well maintained temple attracts believers and incentivizes them to perform their best. We each inhabit our own unique temples- our bodies- and treat them as such. As such, we value mental and physical health.

Plural Awareness: Every person is an intrinsically unique individual with unique needs and preferences, stemming from a unique mesh of backgrounds and experiences. We champion respectful awareness of others and are excited to learn more about each other.

Stalwart Enthusiasm: We each have the power to bring about change if we work hard and believe in our goals. As such, we remember this every day and motivate ourselves to continue striving and refining our best selves.

For many patients, it is frustrating to navigate between health providers and treatment centers with medical record information fragmented in different places. For health providers, precious time and effort is lost obtaining or even re-doing already created medical data, such as X-rays. The goal of a convening would be to fuel change and minimize the frustration in medical data fragmentation.

As such, I propose a three-day hackathon, centered on developing technologies that tackle the medical record fragmentation among health providers. Health insurance providers and large hospital and healthcare institutions will be invited to the hackathon. They will be tasked with presenting problems in their medical record infrastructure that could be serving as potential barriers to streamlining patient medical data. In addition, a diverse group of people who have first-hand accounts of their experiences with medical data fragmentation will be invited to present their frustrations and specific complaints (e.g A woman who broke her arm and has had to wait two months in getting follow-up treatment since her out-of-state MRI imaging center requires in person authorizations to send her images to another health institution).

Finally, the “hackers” will be all those with the skills and drive to tackle this challenge. Technologists, aspiring health care providers, managers, and sociologists should come together to build solutions. As a venue, I believe a medical school’s research or public health policy center would be an ideal fit and context for inspiration. In turn, the values we defined above will be used as the basis of building solutions to the medical data fragmentation. An ideal solution is one that promotes resilience and a steadfast recovery for a patient, always paying careful attention to the unique needs of each person in tackling their treatments. Representatives from large healthcare providers across the country will serve as judges for the hackathon, since they have the decision-making power to create opportunities to incorporate the solutions developed in the hackathon.

One thought on “De-tangling medical data fragmentation

  1. A. Healthy Mindfulness and Plural Awareness are powerful and original values, which smartly reflect the subversion approach of the project in an overly traditional field.

    B. I would push “plural awareness” a bit further and suggest a bottom-up design process, along the lines of “nothing about us without us”, to ensure that diversity of experiences is also reflected in the project design.

    C. The proposed convening has promising outputs. I would ensure that patients’ experience is taken into account throughout the whole hackaton, and would suggest having patients distributed across the tech teams, to ensure that the end-user perspective is not lost along the process. I would also suggest invite scholars / sociologists that have studied the medical system in the US, and could make explicit a macro perspective on incentives/interests.

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