Quoted in USNews – Futureology 2004 – 2014 in health care – it is the decade of the patient

“2004 is the year of the online lab result” – True! View on Flickr.com

I was contacted by Lindsey Cook (@Lindzcook) from USNews (@USnews) to follow up on a report by the one and only Susannah Fox (@SusannahFox) published in 2005, called “The Future of the Internet” and she published this pretty great article reflecting on mine and others’ thoughts 10 years later. These are the moments I love the internet…

Futurology: With Ebola, Obamacare, What Has Changed in Health? – US News

I think this was around the time that Susannah made a comment online that I live in the future, which at the time confused me a little because it was like someone telling me something about myself that I didn’t know … yet, which is a pretty amazing/powerful thing to do for another person.

“Not feasible for the patient to see the entire chart”

2004 being the year of the online lab results turned out to be true, at least for us at Group Health Cooperative (@GroupHealth) and then ultimately at Kaiser Permanente (@KPShare). Hooray.

Note the quote just below my pull quote in the image where it says, “It isn’t feasible for the patient to see the entire chart,” from Jim Walker at Geisinger. I would have disagreed with him then, and I still do today, because it has been and is feasible and …. OpenNotes (@MyOpenNotes) proved it. What I didn’t predict is that a multimillion dollar study would need to happen to prove what made sense to medical leaders 41 years ago now, but glad it did 🙂 . See this blog post of mine from 2009: Now Reading: “Concern that sharing information with patients may cause sustained psychological distress is probably unfounded” | Ted Eytan, MD.

Slightly more optimistic than the headline would suggest

I always take notes before I speak to the media, because, you know, I talk fast in live in the future…. and I would only diverge from the byline of Lindsey’s article, because I don’t think 2025 is “the year.” I think wherever we are is the year, and here’s where we are poised to go, in my opinion:

Note that none of those are specific technology milestones of the kind discussed in 2004, because “Health” is the new “HIT.”

A hope that came true

Last thing to note in 2004 was that I alluded to the idea that change would hopefully not be the domain of a new generation of doctors, and patients would play a leadership role. That’s totally happened, in a more beautiful and awesome way than I ever thought. There are no “frontlines,” no “trenches,” no “triage” with patients in this world. We’re friends and we’re at peace. This is the decade of the patient, and their doctors, who are changing everything, as I got to demonstrate with Regina Holliday (@ReginaHolliday) in 2012:


Ted Eytan, MD