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By Joseph H. Kanter

Guinea pigs--anecdotal drugs -- A highway map to the reply -- the overall challenge -- details is the most important -- digital clinical files (EMRs) -- sufferer activist -- The Kanter kinfolk origin (KFF) -- the long run possession of your information

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Then one day, I had a discussion with my family physician about the fact that my mother lived to the ripe age of one hundred and had no serious health problems. He believed that, with such promises for a long and healthy life for me, I should strongly consider newly available options for taking action. So I again consulted with my prostate cancer specialist, Dr. Holden, and took his suggestion to try a new type of proven radiation that had minimal side effects. But the entire process made me wonder why more healthcare decisions aren’t made based on real-world cases and information.

The orthopedic specialist recommended outpatient surgery. He called it a “minor procedure”. As a patient, I consider a “minor procedure” to be surgery performed on someone else, not me. Now I’ll be the first to admit that orthopedic surgery is a marvel of modern medicine. When I began playing tennis, it really didn’t exist. You either played with pain, underwent a surgical procedure where you spent weeks in the hospital and likely experienced even more pain and nothing close to a full recovery, or gave up the game for good.

A key lesson learned is that no country has yet built a truly patient-centered learning/teaching health system—although virtually all leaders recognize the value of such a system. With more than $30 billion designated for IT by Congress in the Healthcare Reform Acts—and at least several times that much (perhaps $150 billion or more, according to a study by McKinsey & Company cited in The Economist19) forecasted to be spent on HIT and EHRs by hospitals and doctors over the next few years—the United States will be in an unprecedented position to make this system happen globally.

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