In the Seattle Times talking about Web 2.0 and Health Care

I was interviewed by journalist Kyung Song from the Seattle Times for this article, which appeared in today’s paper:

Local News | Group Heath trolling cyberspace to learn what patients think | Seattle Times Newspaper

This was the first interview I have done representing both the organization I work for, and myself as a blogger at the same time. Usually, it’s one or the other, because the words on this blog are my own and not those of my employer (although obviously our approach to patient centered health care is well aligned). The worlds are starting to collide….

I definitely believe that there is content that’s traditionally outside of the physician-patient relationship that can and should be brought in via blogs and the like. We saw it with secure e-mail between patients and physicians to be sure. It changed our relationships, in a healthy, helpful way.

My personal belief about blogs and Web 2.0, though, needs to be coupled with an organization’s need to have a workflow and platform that brings in the right information at the right time. I definitely don’t expect a physician to review the 2,000 RSS feeds of their patients (and I don’t think the patients do, either).

That’s the fun intersection, and it is good pressure, to bring everything about a patient that matters to them into every clinical interaction.

See what you think…


As one of the few consumer advocates on national and local health informatics forums like the AHIC Successor (HHS – Office of the national coordinator) and the Puget Sound Health Alliance – Health Information and Technology Committee it is exciting to try and balance the transformative power of health informatics with information over-load while building a personalized patient centered care system.

It is amazing to see the cultural difference between out-dated hierarchial power based models (I am currently at a premier medical school in Ca) and the participatory style of medicine practiced at GHC and Kaiser. Thankfully I spent 3 years at GHC under the tutelage of people like Ted Eytan and Matt Handley so I know what is possible. The next challenge will be to move beyond technology and utilize the social networking models (generation Y) and integrate more patient participation into our health care.

Concepts like Medical Record Banking where patients and providers will be able to deposit and share both PHR and EMR information are intriguing, models of patient participation being utilized at the VA (Vista and MyhealtheVet) are also opening up new venues. National standards to encourage interoperabality may also play a role (the EMR vendor used at GHC can't for example exchange records yet with the UW or Swedish hospital in Seattle even though all 3 use the same vendor).


Ted Eytan, MD