Logging On For Life

Beverly Merz | The Atlantic | January 15, 2014

Digital access to medical records empowers patients through better communication, smarter decisions, and continuous health tracking online.

“We have cancer.”

With that announcement, Dr. John Halamka launched a series of blog posts about his wife’s breast cancer treatment. Writing on his long-running blog “Life as a Healthcare CIO,” Halamka said cancer affects the entire family, thus the use of “we.”

The Chief Information Officer of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Halamka has been blogging about and crusading for wired health care for years. He helped build and oversee a health information technology system supporting 3,000 doctors and three million patients. He’s also involved in national efforts to bring health care into the digital age. And his own family’s experience has demonstrated that digital connectivity can make it much easier for patients, doctors and families to communicate effectively and make decisions as a team.