Health and Technology


Bernie and I attended the Kentucky eHealth Summit this week in Bowling Green.  Kentucky is doing an amazing job on some fronts, and not so good on other fronts.  According to Audrey  Hanes, Kentucky’s Secretary, Cabinet for Health and Human Services , Kentucky has work to do to improve its health rankings.  Did you know that Kentucky ranks 50th in % of citizens who smoke, making them almost the worst in the nation, and ranked #43 for sedentary lifestyle, and #40 for obesity. Check out America’s Health Rankings.

That said, Secretary Hanes says Kentucky is committed to improving it’s health ranking through collaboration , retooling and working together.  She reports that Kentucky is the only southern state that has completely implemented the Affordable Care Act.  Likewise the state has made great strides in leveraging information technology to improve the health of its citizens.  Utilization of the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) has continued to grow, with over 400 health care providers/facilities participating, up from 80 a year ago.  On the meaningful use front, Kentucky has exceeded its targets for registering providers and hospitals.

Speaking of meaningful use, Judy Murphy, Deputy National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), talked about how meaningful use is aimed at changing the health of the nation.  Of particular interest to me, was her discussion about increasing patient engagement as a means to improve health.  She coined it as putting the “I” in HIT.  A patient who is a participant in their health care, rather than merely a recipient, is more likely to have positive outcomes LINK?  I’m pleased to report that the new software application we are launching for tracking and monitoring patient home glucose values does just that, so IWT is on the right track in supporting this national initiative.

And now a homework assignment for you…. At the end of your next doctor appointment, ask your provider for an electronic copy of your health information, and see how they respond.  More on this in a future post;)


Linda Frank
President of Innovative Workflow Technologies


4 thoughts on “Health and Technology

  1. My doc is very HIT centric. I have a patient portal where I can view my health record. Everythinng we discuss is recorded in the EHR (either that or he’s playing words with friends during my visit).

    I wouldn’t have a primary care doc that doesn’t have an EHR. In the near future my doc will work with an HIE.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Dave, and thanks for all you do in the state of Illinois to promote electronic health information exchange.

  3. I have the complete opposite issue – my primary care physician is not at all interested or invested in IT and doesn’t intend to be. He is in his early 60’s and has decided that he can balance the loss of revenue from the government insurers with the time he saves in not having to learn a new computer system, until he retires. For him, this may be the right decision, but for his patients it is certainly not! My family and I are now discouragingly looking for a new PCP.

    • I heard Dr. Blumenthal (ONC) once say “In today’s world, for a physician to fail to use an EHR, the physician is failing to provide proper patient care”. I couldn’t agree more. This physician is choosing his own self interests over the best interest of his patients. Run away!

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