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Desmond Tutu Presents e-Health Call to Action – Learn from the mistakes of the US

Posted Nov 26 2008 12:27pm

One of the messages coming from the meeting is that they believe they can learn from the mistake made in the US, and there were representatives from the US at the meeting.  Karl Brown believes it might be easier to achieve interoperability in developing countries than in the U.S. or Europe. “You don’t have all the legacy systems in place,” he says. image

When you stop and think about China, who had nothing in the way of phones until wireless came about, and how connected they are, there were no existing land lines to depend on, thus it was wireless or nothing, and all the added technology too that comes with wireless.

They promoted open source software, but did not indicate a full reliance on just open source.  I am a software person in healthcare and I like technology, but do agree there are way too many choices with varying degrees of complexity, some very complex, and the reluctance to try new technologies are 2 big stumbling blocks.  For a second, this about a consultant who has to be familiar with the workings of many different medical records systems, not just one, that’s me.

Even outside of the medical records arena, I get questions from individuals that want a 10 second answer and shoot I don’t even know what program they might have open or what they are trying to do based on the question I get, so thus I have to inquire a bit more, get some additional details and sometimes that is challenging, and then at the end sometimes I end up being the “dirty dog” as I couldn’t give the individual the “simple” answer they wanted….well long story short there was no simple answer available due to complexity of software and the various amount of programs that were being accessed, so standards, yes I would very much favor that route.  Sometimes the challenge itself is explaining the fact that there is no simple 10 second answer!   BD 

November 18, 2008 | Health-IT and other electronic communications tools can improve health quality, efficiency, and access to care at least as much in the developing world as in industrialized countries, but there must be coordinated and aligned local and global efforts to ensure interoperability, sustainability, and replicability.

Such is the message of a global “call to action” on e-health issued Tuesday.

“To achieve substantial progress on improving health quality, access, affordability, and efficiency, nations must share and work toward a global eHealth vision,” reads the action statement, which is the product of Making the eHealth Connection: Global Partnerships, Local Solutions, a series of Rockefeller Foundation conferences held last summer in Bellagio, Italy. South African Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu introduced the document Tuesday at the Global Ministerial Forum on Research and Health in Bamako, Mali.

” Partridge, president and chief executive of Vital Wave Consulting (Palo Alto, Calif.), says interoperability so far has failed in the U.S. because multitudes of competing interests have not fully embraced such principles. “The developing world can learn a lot from [the mistakes of] the developed world,” Partridge says.

http://www.digitalhcp.com/2008/11/18/bellagio.html

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