Posted March 26, 2009 by Lygeia Ricciardi
Today the New England Journal of Medicine posts a free online article entitled No Small Change for the Health Information Economy, by Kenneth Mandl and Isaac Kohane. It asks how healthcare can best take advantage of the unprecedented $19 billion in the stimulus package directed toward the adoption of health information technology.<
In response to the question, the authors sketch a vision—for all of healthcare—very similar to the model Project HealthDesign has long supported for a personal health record (PHR) architecture. (See, for example, Director Patti Brennan’s discussion of the “common platform” and the project’s release of functional requirements for PHR “building blocks.”)
They highlight the importance of flexibility, interoperability, and a platform approach based on open standards that enable anyone to create applications that can be interchanged or linked together easily. Such openness allows the market to address niche needs and also promotes competition for well-designed applications. According to Mandl and Kohane, this kind of architecture could benefit clinical care, public health, and research—as well as PHRs.