Devising better ways to access medical information

One healthcare IT company has developed a new search tool to make it easier for providers to find the data they need right when it is needed.

Chances are, the last time you saw a doctor, they were not using pen and paper to mark down information about your health. These days, most healthcare providers have turned to electronic health records (EHRs) for all of their record-keeping needs.

The potential benefits of EHRs are vast, especially when considering the increased record-keeping efficiency and greater ability to share information among a number of medical professionals. However, all of those potential benefits are rendered moot if healthcare providers have trouble finding and accessing the information. That is why one healthcare IT company has developed a new search tool to make it easier for providers to find the data they need right when it is needed, according to MedCity News.

“[I]t’s not enough for a provider to have an EMR system if that data can’t be easily shared by the people responsible for managing a patient’s care,” Stephanie Baum wrote in an October 11 Med City News article.

Benefits of SAMI Health
The idea behind SAMI Health is that it makes it easier than ever for healthcare providers to look up EHRs all at one time, MedCity News reported. SAMI Health streamlines this search process in a way akin to how to kayak.com aggregates travel information from multiple websites. The new service allows healthcare professionals to conduct one search and find all of the relevant EHRs across multiple legacy platforms. The system even incorporates an iTunes-like feature that allows professionals to save data in what the news source called a “clinical playlist.”

The benefit of SAMI Health to medical professionals is that it can make it easier to draw more widespread conclusions about treatment options. For example, MedCity News said that healthcare providers can quickly retrieve information regarding all of their patients with a particular type of ailment who have been successfully treated with a specific remedy.

However, any time a system comes along that allows for increased access of personal information by medical professionals, increased layered security needs to follow suit. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, such a platform would be predicated on the highest level of security. Unless patients know that their personal data is being kept as safe as possible, they will not share medical information with healthcare providers and thus the EHRs would not be detailed enough for draw meaningful conclusions.

What security measures would SAMI Health have to integrate in order to block applications from harming its system? What steps should the healthcare industry undertake to make it easier to share information? Leave your comments below to let us know what you think about this topic!

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.