Personal Health Records

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The time to explore this topic is now.

The Obama Administration is discussing personal health records. The senate (Senator Jay Rockefeller) is offering this bill according to this press release:

The Health Information Technology Public Utility Act of 2009 will build upon the successful use of “open source” electronic health records by the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the “open source exchange model,” which was recently expanded among federal agencies through the Nationwide Health Information Network-Connect initiative.

We all have our own personal health records. Most of our records are in archives and records departments of various doctors' offices, hospitals, and health care facilities.

Insurance companies also have copies, and many decisions are made based on what's in our records. We may or may not know about the information, its significance, or its effects on our policies.

The medical profession has a key stake in having standards in place that facilitate proper access to necessary records. The VA Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, and the Mayo Clinic are models of patient records exchanges. Notable players in this space are Microsoft and Google.

There are at least a couple of groups (Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, ) working on making patient records interoperable.

What's going on? How can we help? What skill sets can we bring to the table?