I hear many different life stories in my role as CIO; not only from our staff, but from patients as well. Most are speaking to connected care, and how they are glad that their specialist is able to connect with their primary care provider to obtain all the information needed about the patient. For me, the story became personal in 2008, when my father was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
My dad was fortunate to have my stepmom at his side, all day, every day. I remember, on countless occasions, listening to her talking about how hard it was to keep up with all of his treatment, across different realms of care. She kept a notebook, her “care bible” of everything given to my dad, and noted anything prescribed. There were times she caught the wrong treatment, meds or just simply diet changes. Unfortunately, even the best treatment and love cannot beat the atrocity of cancer.
My dad passed on June 1, 2012. I often think of his journey from 2008 to 2012 and how much more we have yet to go for a truly connected healthcare experience. I often hear about the providers and how we need to streamline their experience with health IT, and while I agree, my goal is to work to connect all realms of care to care teams. Specialists, primary care and in-patient settings need to be connected to provide “informed care.” Then, and only then, will we be able to provide patients with the information they are seeking in a holistic and meaningful way. I remember my stepmom saying, “if there was just a way for all these doctors to get the information from the other doctors.”