Spelunking in Healthcare Data

By Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick
Twitter: @drnic1
Host of Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist#TheIncrementalist

On this episode I talked to Benjamin Zaniello, MD MPH, the Chief Medical Officer for PointClickCare, a healthcare data integration and management company. Ben is a practicing Infectious Disease doctor who has struggled with the challenge of finding useful information in the burgeoning Electronic Medical Record (EMR).

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Ben is an infectious disease doctor, who has done his own spelunking into EMRs seeking critical patient data. For his specialty, this is already challenging as he looks for “bugs and drugs,” (what diseases have they had and what antimicrobials have they been on). Even with additional access to more data and more EMRs with more patient data, there is no easy way to look through them.

We discuss the challenges of EMRs and how they have taken away the focus of doctors’ eyes and attention from eh patient to the computer screen as aptly captured in the JAMA article some years ago featuring the 7-year-old’s view of her consultation with the doctor.

Ben quotes from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

as a shorthand for the knowledge or information in our EMR but our inability to find useful information in these healthcare databases and systems.

Listen in to hear our discussion on the challenge of finding the unknown unknowns and how we can use incremental steps to free the data and release insights and knowledge to be accessible to doctors and other clinical team members struggling to deliver the best possible care to the patient.

This article was originally published on the Dr. Nick – The Incrementalist blog and is republished here with permission.

About the Show

About the Show
For years Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick, has served as a voice on the impact of new technologies on healthcare, earning a reputation as a leading authority on where the future of medicine is going. Combining powers of observation and real world experience, Dr. Nick has seen many predictions come true and makes the case that innovations in healthcare can be accomplished incrementally, not just by moonshot events. Tune in to hear Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist and his guests discuss what the future of healthcare looks like, how we will get there, and what it will take to improve healthcare for all.

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