Health information technology (HIT) is among the fastest growing fields in both the technology and healthcare sectors, and in the medical travel markets, whether within Europe, the United States or across the globe, HIT is among the fundamental enablers, or necessary conditions, for the medical tourism markets to exist.
The central role of health information technology is at the heart of a Medical Travel Show podcast interview with Miguel Cabrer, Vice President of eHealth Innovation at Best Doctors, a global IT platform, which, “…brings together the best minds in medicine with cutting-edge technology.”
In order for medical travel to be safe, information about available services needs to be accessible and available, usually through the Internet. Health information technology is, therefore, critical to the development of medical tourism and medical travel. In this interview, Miguel talks with cohosts, Elizabeth Ziemba and Irving Stackpole about the challenges of deploying a global HIT platform.
“At Best Doctors, we are building secure, efficient ways for patients, their doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and others to securely access critical clinical information” states Mr.Cabrer, “and facilitating their collaboration and communications is at the heart of what we do.”
Most healthcare or medical episodes involve many steps in a process, including doctors, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics and potentially many others. Asked about the complexity of most healthcare episodes, Miguel explained that, “Gaps in communication and coordination between and among healthcare providers are a common source of controllable medical errors, in addition to being inefficient and dangerous. Our platform enables streamlined workflow, built around the patient and a clinical episode.”
Protection and security of patients’ confidential information and identities is also discussed in this podcast. “Technology is a tool,” adds Miguel, “and it cannot, by itself, assure confidentiality or efficiency. That’s why, at Best Doctors, we employ very strict protocols for replacing the patient identification of clinical information with multiple levels of security, so that only those who are authorized can access and identify the source of the information.” With growing concerns around the world about security of private information, it is encouraging that such case-based innovations are being deployed through health information technology on a global platform.
Among the fascinating threads of the discussion with Miguel is the concept of, “Who owns the medical record?” The security of patient specific medical information has historically resided with providers, although with a growing belief that the medical record belongs to the patient, and the desire by many patients around the world to be in possession of their medical information, patient responsibility in securing their own medical information becomes important.
This is an engaging interview by one of the sector’s leaders. Listen to this interview and Mr. Cabrera’s insights and information in response to tough questions about security, safety, international standards and provider liability.