I've been busy building some "hospital demo" last few days.
Building was easy, two hours tops for a few flows and some reports, but pre-build think-over was a good and long one this time.
Building a working business model with thingamy is rather simple - recognise the objects that your organisation is supposed to increase the value of, then define the most effective, value-increasing sequence of tasks and events those objects goes through.
Add whatever reports and accounts you think is useful and you have your IT backbone to run it all.
No big deal with a bike factory - wheel sets, frames, gears goes through some work-flow and becomes a value added item, a bike.
Even a service company like an investment bank or a technical support firm or a media company - pretty much the same. Ideas and knowledge instead of frames and pedals.
But health care? Nah, here I stumble over something new: Messy, iffy, uncontrollable objects. Human beings on the loose.
Objects that does not "belong" anywhere, objects that cheekily wanders into any doctor's office or get carried into the nearest hospital after an accident without any regard to structured data capture. Annoying.
Where is that central data capture thingie from birth to hopefully a late death? Easier said than done. Still smacking of something designed by Ray Bradbury.
Then, yesterday I had a long discussion with Josh and Melanie in Maine who are tinkering with some very good ideas in the health care IT space - that got me thinking:
As President Bartlett would have said - "It's all about economy!"
In the US the insurance companies have the biggest interest and thus the most extensive records - if they have to pay for a pill or a blood test or a surgery they bloody well see to it that they know exactly what happened, and better yet, what happened prior to it. Part of sound insurance business that.
In other parts of the world, here in Europe say, we often see the government being in the same "insurer" situation - and they do keep records.
Those are records created by pure fiscal reasons, not by some regulation. And in my world economy and bare interest beats laws and regulations any time in efficiency.
So why not flip the situation.
The fiscal stakeholders could run the health care systems including Patient Records. Software As A Service is not a new concept.
MD logs onto insurers site, finds his patient, sees complete Patient Records, adds his input, makes decisions, orders tests, medication whatnot, pharmacy or test facilities logs on same site, gets work order, fulfills prescription or test, MD sees results immediately. Next year another MD or hospital, again complete and real time records available. Etc.
Patient Record created by work-flow, patient costs captured in minutest detail and real time by work-flow, insurer information instantly available graciously supplied by the originator. All happy, all gain.
That would sort out my issues with the messy objects indeed.
I think I will build a hospital-IT-systems-redundant software-as-a-service demo for health insurance companies now :)