How Medical Records Can Save Your Life (and Your Money)

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How Electronic Medical Records Can Save Your Life (and Your Money)

William Yasnoff, MD, PhD, FACMI

Thursday, November 10

8:00 PM

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The lack of availability of complete medical records when and where needed results in hundreds of thousands of adverse outcomes, many fatal, as well as hundreds of $billions of unnecessary costs.

Central community repositories for medical record information controlled by patients known as Health Record Banks (HRBs) can ensure the availability of comprehensive electronic medical records whenever and wherever needed. HRBs are secure, low cost, simple to operate, and technically feasible.

Unlike most problems in our health care system, fixing our medical records is non-partisan, consistent with current law and policy, and has a straightforward and readily deployable solution. It is the most important health care problem that can be solved now and, by freeing up currently wasted funds and providing the information needed to make smarter policy decisions, could contribute significantly toward a more just and equitable health care system overall.

William Yasnoff, MD, PhD, FACMI,

a well-known UU national leader in health informatics, is Managing Partner of National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) Advisors, a consulting firm that helps communities and organizations successfully develop and deploy health information infrastructure systems and solutions, Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Data Science at Johns Hopkins University, and Founder and President of the non-profit Health Record Banking Alliance, which promotes community repositories of patient-controlled electronic health information.

Previously at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he established the NHII as a widely recognized national goal by directing the activities resulting in the creation of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in 2004 by Executive Order of the President.

Earlier, he implemented the first successful statewide immunization registry in the U.S. (in Oregon), then spent five years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doing pioneering work to establish the field of public health informatics. He has authored over 400 publications and presentations, including the “Health Information Infrastructure” chapter in the 5th Edition of the widely used textbook Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Healthcare and Medicine (Springer, 2021).

He earned his Ph.D. in computer science and M.D. from Northwestern, received an honorary DrPH from the University of Louisville in 2006, and was elected a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics in 1989.