Hacking Healthcare: A Guide to Standards, Workflows, and Meaningful Use
Fred Trotter is a hacktivist. He works for social change by coding and promoting Open Source Health Software. In recognition of his role within the Open Source Health Informatics community, Trotter was the only Open Source representative invited by congress … see full wiki
One of the ways often cited for cutting health care costs is to have electronic medical records. On the surface, it's easy to think that it can't be all that difficult, right? Actually, it's a nightmare. Fred Trotter and David Uhlman do a good job in explaining the huge number of issues inherent in electronic health records (EHR) in their book Hacking Healthcare. If you're in Information Technology and you touch the health care industry in any way, this should be a must-read.
Contents: Introduction; An Anatomy of Medical Practice; Medical Billing; The Bandwidth of Paper; Herding Cats - Healthcare Management and Business Office Operations; Patient-Facing Software; Human Error; Meaningful Use Overview; A Selective History of EHR Technology; Ontologies; Interoperability; HIPAA - The Far-Reaching Healthcare Regulation; Open Source Systems; Appendix - Meaningful Use Implementation Assessment
Hacking Healthcare bridges the gap between "software does x, then y, then z" and what really happens when someone steps into the clinic (and earlier). There are endless use cases that need to be accounted for, no universally agreed-upon unique identifier for a patient, values that change over time, records in various locations, no standard way to share information between providers, and so on. Trotter and Uhlman cover the issues involved, and also talk about the current state of EHR. There are competing standards and systems, each with various pros and cons. There are no easy answers, but with this book, you have a much better understanding of the issues that need to be addressed.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in health care or health insurance technology. It's a low-cost investment that will have huge payback in terms of how you approach technology solutions in that space.