The Electronic Sickness Record

Does an Apple device a day keep the doctor away?

Your doctor and the systems they use (the EHRs – Electronic Health Records systems) only know so much about you. Think about it – your doctor usually only sees you once a year for your annual checkup, or when you are sick. The data your health system has therefore isn’t really a reflection of your health, but of your sickness at a few points in time.

Most likely there is a device in pocket that has tells so much more detail about your health. Smart phones and fitness devices can provide with a much better picture of your health overall, yet few doctors are utilizing this rich data.

This is actually a screenshot of my personal health record with, I kid you not, one date with a few vital signs. My doctor has no idea if my blood pressure is trending up, down, or if I’m developing any diseases. I imagine it’d be quite hard to draw any conclusions about my health expect that that very point in time.

Is your doctor not giving you the full story of your personal health? #QlikSense can.

On the other hand, my iPhone is tracking key health measures on a daily basis. I’m recording my steps, blood pressure, weight, exercise, and nutrition. It knows where I’m at, the temperature outside, and the air quality. All key factors or metrics important to my health

Using easy-to-use personal analytics in the cloud, I can analyze all of this data and see how my diet is affecting my weight (did I really need that Grande size cappuccino and a chocolate croissant?), how I need to get better at walking 10,000 steps a day, how travel and weather impacts my exercise regimen (hint: travel means little to no exercise for me, and warmer weather at home means I get more steps in).

Does my doctor see any of this? Nope. Well, not unless I show her my phone – and then what will she do with data? At least we’ll get to have a conversation about in while I’m sitting on the cold table in a funny gown, but she’s certainly not going to track how I’m doing next week or months later when I change my diet or visit the terrace for beers with friends more often during the summer.

While EHRs have the ability to bring in personal health data (often called PRO or Patient-Reported Outcomes), many organizations do not turn on this capability or they fail to use it effectively. A missed opportunity to see the whole story. So, can we go ahead and just call the systems our doctors use Electronic Sickness Records? I’ll be over here trying to stick to my latest adventure (the Keto diet) and walking to my favorite coffee shop where I’ll grimace at that delicious looking Pain au Chocolat.

Looking for more data-driven tips for hospitals? Check out Joe Warbington’s Health Data Management webinar on 6/20:


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