Archive for September, 2009

Soccer or Rugby

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I was watching football yesterday and thinking about the 1000′s of fans that were going crazy and thinking of how important it is for the American culture. So I started thinking which is more important to the Irish, Soccer or Rugby. Or maybe there’s another sport, like Curling… Which do you think is more important to the Irish culture?

Health Care Reform

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Today I sent my proposal to President Obama on how to fix a small aspect of the health care system. I think too little attention has been spent on the systems aspect of the problem. The US has an extremely low adoption rate for medical record keeping and modern back office health care systems, so my proposal is to try to change this by federally supporting an open source health care system freely available to medical practices. Once released a governing body would be created to support the standards, much like exists for other public standards. Below is the full letter for your review. What do you think?

Dear Mr. President,
Last night you said that you would listen to any serious proposals for solutions for fixing the health care system in this country and I would like to propose one. I have worked as a systems designer and implementer for 13 years and have had clients such as the US State Dept, US Mint, IRS, Marriott, and Freddie Mac. At each client, the business was complex and yet there were huge efficiencies and monetary savings that were being created as a result of modernizing the back office systems. I believe that innovation in the systems used by health care providers is critical to any real solution. There are many existing back office health care systems, the problem is that the ROI does not exist for small doctors offices and practices to implement them. This is part of the reason for a lack of adoption. I am proposing that the federal government sponsor the initial development of an Open Source Health Care System. Open Source Applications technology is used in every aspect of today’s modern systems architecture and could provide the initial impedes for these doctors offices to convert their medical records and back office systems.

Here are the major points of my plan
1) Federally back an initial system design and development using open source technology and methodologies. There are many established and proven applications built on this framework. Once developed, it will be freely distributed with guides for setup, maintenance, suggested process flows, and data entry. Key aspects of the system design will include:

  • Defined integration standards for insurance companies and federal reimbursement programs,
  • Easy configurability,
  • Secure processing and storage of information,
  • Ease of upgradeability,
  • Open integration standards for third party applications and devices,
  • End user GUI delivered through the browser.

2) Provide a Tax Credit for practices and doctors offices to implement this solution. This will include purchases of hardware to run the system, data entry of existing records, and training of front office personnel. The key here is to create an ROI for these providers by drastically reducing the cost of software purchase and implementation.

3) Use the existing task force as a starting point to organize a governing body for the standards and procedures for interacting with this system. This will be critical to ensure interoperability. This type of body already exists for other interoperable systems and would add a framework for health care system standards. It should include physicians, insurers, patient representatives, and systems experts.

I know there will be enormous benefits as a result of this effort. A few of the most significant include: job creation during the data entry and implementation aspects of this effort, monetary savings from the development of interoperable standards and integration of systems, fewer medical errors as a result of lack of access to medical records, and innovation in medical records technology and interoperability.

Thank you for taking the time to read this proposal and I look forward to your response.


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