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Gartner: Governments should consider electronic health records now

Earlier this year I wrote about the field of landmines confronting health care CIOs as electronic personal health record programs like Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault make inroads into the market (well, as far as free programs can).

It’s a field worth crossing – carefully. For all the privacy concerns and for all the programming hassles to achieve interoperability, EPHRs (as they are known) offer patients a previously unheard of level of insight and control of their own health information.

I can think of few SaaS and on-demand applications that could so significantly improve our lives the way EPHRs could if properly built, used and implemented.

Gartner agrees. The analyst firm yesterday issued a press release detailing the potential benefits of EPHRs and urging government officials and IT executives to begin developing policies – and, I suppose, laws — to prepare for the inevitable uptake of these programs by patients.

Anybody interested in EPHR developments and the broader questions about use and implementation would be remiss not to keep tabs on Life as a Healthcare CIO, the relatively active blog kept by Dr. John Halamka, CIO at Harvard Medical School and CareGroup Inc. in Boston.

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