Mary is an accomplished professional who has managed a chronic condition all her life.
She sees 4 MDs: a gastroenterologist (GI), an endocrinologist, an OB/GYN, and a primary care physician. 4 MDs from three health care networks. Each network uses a different patient portal. The data is not integrated.
System Problem #1: Under Pressure
The health care system, under financial pressures, nurses leaving the profession and a physician shortfall expected to exceed 100,000 by 2030, is leaving patients with a greater responsibility to manage their own care.
Mary kept getting debilitating leg pains. An urgent care center, an orthopedist, and imaging did not identify the problem.
Over 18 months her magnesium (Mg) levels had been dropping. No one noticed. The lab values resided on different EHR platforms.
Finally, a routine visit to her GI revealed that her Mg values had reached critically dangerous levels. She spent 18 hours in the ER. The ER bill exceeded $15,000. The root cause was a change in medication.
System Problem #2: Too Much and Never Enough
The volume of data is growing almost exponentially, across multiple platforms and entities. It’s impossible for patients and providers to aggregate, synthesize and interpret all this data.
She spends significant time coordinating her care, shuttling information between her providers. She spends too much time dealing with her insurance company. She spends a small fortune on out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Mary consented to participate in studies at a major teaching hospital but has no idea how her data or lab samples are being used, which companies are benefiting and whether the studies ultimately led to meaningful interventions.
System Problem #3: Mostly Alone
No advocate to fully curate and present complex data in a digestible format, flagging problems before they become serious medical issues. Patients do not know how their health data is being used nor how valuable it is.