Confusing “Consent” Terminology Emerges

In its August 19th letter to the Office of the National Coordinator, the HIT Policy Committee creates the term “meaningful consent” related to the coming choices patients will be asked to make about the sharing and use of their clinical data. In the recommendations, the committee clearly states that the recommendations apply to exchange of identifiable health information in order to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements. So now is the perfect time to ensure that the difference between the two types of consent remain distinct in the mind of the patient population. » Continue reading “Confusing “Consent” Terminology Emerges”

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Timely Article on Data Sharing

Almost forgot to point out the interesting article in last Friday’s New York Times about a large data sharing project that led to some discoveries about Alzheimer’s. One of the study’s most interesting principles was that there would be no “ownership” of the data, and that it would be shared freely among several groups. The full article is here. Just days before this article, I posted questions about data ownership and intellectual property rights concerning medical discoveries, so it was great to discover that this was being addressed. Let’s see what influence it has on the “market” for knowledge.

-Rod Piechowski

Copyright © 2010, Rod Piechowski, Inc., Consulting

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String of Questions

I’ll admit I don’t have an answer to this question: We talk about “data ownership” related to data that has been collected and stored. Some argue it is the patient’s data, while others claim it belongs to the institution that collected it. But as we get more and more information flow among various organizations, and as data in aggregate becomes more available to researchers, will there be such a thing as ownership of “discovered knowledge?”

I suppose the answer to that depends upon whether or not the analysis of collected (anonymous) medical data remains an academic exercise. Cynically, I would say that it really depends on who paid for the research to be done. So the question here is, if a private enterprise analyzes data in such a way as to learn something completely new about how the body works, or what causes a disease, is the enterprise obligated to share its knowledge as a contribution to the greater good? Or can that knowledge be withheld while a unique drug or treatment is developed for profit? I’ve just been thinking about this one, as our ability to collect more and more data will have been provided as the result of a huge public investment in EHRs through HITECH and other health reform legislation.

-Rod Piechowski

Copyright © 2010, Rod Piechowski, Inc., Consulting

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Our Progress Update

The Art of Medicine and Technology blog has been up and running now for a little over 5 weeks. So far we’ve had hits from around the world! In addition to the US, we’ve had hits from India, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Germany, England, and The Netherlands. Thank you! We have some regular readers too, and we are very interested in your opinions. This is your chance to weigh in on what you like, as well as how we can improve the site. What topics would you like covered? Are we heading in the right direction?

This blog is about ethically leading the transference to a paperless, computer-supported medical information system. I understand that leadership, information and ethics in healthcare can encompass quite a few topics, so your input is welcomed. Admittedly, there will be a lot of discussion of current activities in the US, but my interests go beyond current US policy, which currently does not address any of these issues. Here, the focus is on getting physicians and hospitals to implement basic clinical information technology. I’m interested in how knowledge will be represented through technology, and how it will flow in a useful, ethical way. So far it seems others are interested too!

Please register, share your comments and suggestions, and we’ll do what we can to improve. Is there anyone you’d like to hear from in particular, or a specific topic? Let us know! In the meantime, thank you for coming back. There is a lot more to discuss related to The Art of Medicine and Technology. Thanks again for an exciting first 5 weeks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

-Rod Piechowski

Copyright © 2010, Rod Piechowski, Inc., Consulting

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