Last night I was scrolling through Twitter and catching up on some of the days news when I came across this:
The above tweet was posted by Steve Sisko (@ShimCode) yesterday. While Steve can be opinionated at times I had to take pause.
I asked myself what does this really mean within the bounds of the healthcare industry? Most importantly, what does this mean to the people we serve, people that at times are patients?
My response was this:
Historically easy and simple access to our own healthcare data has been complex, difficult, and somewhat held at ransom from us. Our ability to get copies of images, labs, pathology, medical notes and documentation, discharge notes, coding and billing, and pricing takes the help of an insider and their network to access it all.
Accessing and collecting our medical data isn’t something that happens in a matter of minutes or hours, it can take days, week, and even years to collect it all. At times it seems one needs a PhD in systems engineering to figure out who to call and what to ask in order to obtain our medical data. (ask an insider, we can help)
There are always good reasons why the barriers are in place from trying to keep our healthcare expenditures low, to ensuring the quality of the data, to our own privacy and protection via HIPAA.
Yet the internal truth is less altruistic.
“Thee who holds the data, holds the keys to the kingdom.”
Many healthcare organizations (insurance companies as well) have always thought of the data as part of their “Intellectual Property.” We have a special way of caring for people. Our processes have been built over time. We don’t want to share our secret sauce with our local competitors. Patients need to come back to us for their care.
The reality is many people don’t want to be part of your kingdom.
They do not want walls. They do not want barriers. They do not want a drawbridge, and they definitely do not want a moat filled with crocodiles. They do not want fragmentation in their care. They do not want inconsistency, lapse in judgement, or misdiagnosis due to lack of data accessibility. Or in this case, ransoming medical data.
Technology is not the barrier. The barrier resides in the monarchy of healthcare.
Thee who sets the data free wins in the connection economy. ~Cancergeek
While we want to sit and focus on the ransoming of data by hackers as evil (which it is an important topic we need to focus and address), we forget the rationing of data that the medical industrial complex has done for years.
Maybe that’s the point the dark web is trying to remind us….its less about the kingdom and more about the people?
As always you can feel free to email me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek