btw .. I've had comments set to require my approval on the Docnotes server for about 6 months. I couldn't keep up with the CommentSpam - so only rarely authorized comments. I've now turned it off entirely. Want to comment on a post? Sorry - you'll have to do so on your weblog instead. :-(
Today (and yesterday) I'm using Windows Live Writer for blog posting .. hey .. not bad. Let's think about how weblogs have evolved since Dave first released Manila. Back then - "edit this page" was the innovation. Then came Radio and of course the rest is history. (Just for the record - I was one of the first users of Pyra - the predecessor of Blogger). What makes this all fit together so well isn't just RSS. RSS is the front side - how we GET the stuff of blogs. It was a great idea .. and .. yes .. I'll give Dave credit for evangelizing it and honing it and parenting it through its childhood. But the "back end" is just as important. I can use Windows Live Writer to create this because it supports the metaweblog API. The cool part is that I don't have to know that. I tell it the URL for my blog, I give it my username & password .. and poof - it works. Just like flock works, or performancing or blogjet.
Now (sorry - I can't resist) .. This stuff is not rocket science. That's the point. The API is pretty clean - just like the Flickr API or the Google Calendar API (though I still have a little trouble getting Oncalls to post properly to Google - even though the same ical feeds work fine with 30boxes). These web-based apps all work right because the developers made them open.
Now look at healthcare. I wrote about something about a year ago - and I still think there is merit to this model. Since PHRs are all the rage (they should be) - why can't we:
- Post our "free-busy" schedules in ical format - and use a service like TimetoMeet to arrange appointments?
- Send patients their lab results as RSS feeds (yeh - secure .. )
- Set up IM portals for patients to ask questions of physicians/nurses (yeh - secure, logged to the EMR/PHR etc)
- Send SMS appointment reminders.
- Integrate with VOIP PBX, gtalk, etc.
- more ..
All of the above could be done now, with off-the-shelf tools. Just gotta plug it all in together.
EHR 2.0 is the next level. Let's open up the EHR APIs like Flickr, Google, Yahoo, Userland, and Six Apart have done. Want to edit your chart notes with a web-based minimal editor? Go for it. Want a "smart" (formerly called "fat") client with all of the bells and whistles that your OS has to offer? Go for it. Want to interface with a PHR or "patient portal?" Go for it. What do we need to do this? EHR API. We need to think of healthcare applications as a set of interoperable parts built on a solid foundation. Just as the Metaweblog API makes it possible for me to migrate away from MovableType as my primary editing platform - it permits SixApart to focus on providing the parts they do best (server side - in the case of MT) and opens up a new market for BlogJet or Performancing. Where to start? EHRVA? Hmmm. I'm not sure they're ready to think outside the box in this way. See yesterday's post. Can software vendors see beyond the next quarter's sales numbers? (Can we blame them? As my favorite boss once said: "with no margin - there can be no mission.") There's a start on the front side - with CCD finally coming together as a product of CDA and CCR ... but the back side isn't there yet. We need some leadership on this front. Hmm.
<obligatory disclaimer> This is my view and doesn't represent the view of anyone who is currently employing me or has previously employed me .. or will employ me in the future .. or any of my children, relatives or neighbors. </obligatory disclaimer>