Last May, the Department of Health & Human Services appointed David J. Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., to serve as National Health Information Technology Coordinator. His task is to coordinate the nation's health information technology efforts. As reported in The New York Times last week, Dr. Brailer has issued an ultimatum: Make digital records a reality, or expect a government mandate.
In turn, the healthcare data management industry has been seeking out solutions that work in other sectors of the economy, including the banking sector. Already, financial institutions including PNC Bank, Bank of America and ABN Amro have taken steps to integrate their own processes into those for healthcare data management, and other institutions are likely to follow.
One can imagine a future in which the nationwide healthcare services network provides health records to any authorized patient or healthcare provider in much the same way that a banking customer can access cash or information from any ATM. Banks have a successful track record when it comes to managing complex networks with multiple endpoints, but it remains to be seen whether that expertise can be translated into the healthcare arena.
A special Bank Systems & Technology "hot topics" resource center, located at http://www.banktech.com/healthcare, will explore the topic of banking in healthcare with news, case studies and contributed articles. If your organization has a point of view on the role of banking in healthcare, we look forward to hearing from you!
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P.S. I will be attending the 3rd National Medical Banking Institute event in Nashville this week. Come on down if you can make it, and check back at banktech.com for a special report.