On June 14th at The Washington Post Live event “Cracking the Code: Optimizing Health Care”, lawmakers and health care professionals discussed an emerging health-care model that considers the value of care. They also debated the merits and dangers of health data for patients, industry and regulation.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, a longtime physician, argued that while electronic medical records are helpful, they need to be used with personalized medicine for the sake of physician-patient relationships. “When the doc is looking at the computer screen, and not looking in the patient’s eyes, you’ve lost something,” Cassidy said. Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said the current health-care system needs to prioritize patient needs ahead of billing and logistics.
“It’s really important that the electronic health record serve the doctor and the patient and not vice-versa,”
he said, recommending a system where doctors can rate different EMR technologies for effectiveness.
Tom Delbanco, co-director of OpenNotes, a program working to provide patients access to medical records written by their providers, predicted society would eventually move into a system in which the patient is the steward of his or her own health system.