CCR could boost IT adoption

By Jack Beaudoin
12:00 AM

A success demonstration of the Continuity of Care Record at May's "Towards and Electronic Patient Record" show suggests it could be a killer app for a number of product segments.

"It's got a huge potential," says Tyler Blitz, marketing director at Kryptiq. His company is intrigued by the CCR because of its ability to add value to electronic medical records. "You don't have to re-enter data into your record, again and again" he said. "The time savings are enormous."

Blitz argues that adoption rates have been suppressed because too many EMRs remain islands of information. As demonstrated at TEPR, a continuity of care record – a core data set of a clinical encounter stored in XML format – can be placed on a secure, password protected USB drive carried by the patient. Because the XML format describes the data that is encrypted, compatible software can read the data and display it any way a practitioner chooses. That data can be entered into a patient's full medical record with the touch of a button, and updated following any encounter.

USB drive manufacturer SanDisk sees it as a potential market booster.

"SanDisk is not going to offer a (healthcare-specific) drive to the consumer market," said product manager Ed Cuellar. "But what's likely to happen is that we'll sell a product to the EMR market first. The fastest approach to adoption is to work with these EMR companies and convince them that adding a drive or a card enhances the value of their system and is attractive to patients."

New Town, Pa.-based CapMed is betting that the CCR will also boost consumer interest in its personal health record product. CapMed is working with NextGen's EMR to develop a CCR product that allows patients to maintain their own updatable electronic copy of their health record. "We don't think patients should have to enter their own data ever again," said CapMed's Kelly McCulley.

The consumer market could be huge. McCulley said USB devices could be carried discreetly beneath an article of clothing by children or older adults with health problems and provide emergency caregivers with critical information. It would also improve care for people who travel frequently or split their time between two homes.

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