Making Patients The 'Hub' Of Their Own Healthcare

Erin McCann | Government Health IT | September 16, 2014

National Health IT Week is officially underway in Washington, DC, and it's only fitting that interoperability and patient engagement are the primary themes being discussed.  National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, in fact, was the first to take the stage. Sporting her new Walking Gallery jacket, painted by Regina Holliday, DeSalvo reiterated that interoperability was a "top priority" for the folks at ONC.

And those consumers? Their engagement just might be one of the most integral parts of the healthcare equation, a theme that DeSalvo hit home and one that manifested itself in virtually every conversation during ONC's 2014 Annual Consumer IT Summit.  "This is about health information beyond electronic health records," DeSalvo added. "It's not just a good idea; it really matters for people's health."

Take, for instance, the story of Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, 29, diagnosed with an aggressive form of cystic fibrosis, who was among those to take the stage.  People living with CF, a progressive and fatal genetic disease, have an average life expectancy of 41 years. And that number, as Kramer-Golinkoff pointed out, is skewed upward due to many people living with less serious forms of the disease...