Health Information should be about decision making.

What is health information needed for?

IMHO health information is only needed in order to make decisions.

A health professional will be primarily interested in the current status of a patient and secondly, in the way in which the patient’s status is changing.

Any other information is irrelevant and, potentially, confusing.

Health information systems need to be designed and managed in order to meet the needs of decision making. Collecting health information for its own sake has limited benefits and can come at a great cost. Reduction in actual and perceived privacy is one of those costs.

The whole ethos of the current approach to eHealth is to gather and manage as much information as possible without regard to its potential use, accuracy, quality or relevance. This needs to change to one of better decision making.

The value of health information lies in the decisions that it supports. The big risks that need to be managed are those associated with bad decisions.

The PCEHR is a part of a health information management environment with no clear inks to better health decision making. This is wasteful and will probably result in inefficiencies as health professionals drown in irrelevant data. The behaviour this is likely to produce is a rejection of health information management systems.

Leave a Reply