The American Academy of Family Physicians has partnered with Surescripts, a firm that connects physicians with drug prescribing services, to announce a new collaboration, AAFP Physicians Direct, that will allow the AAFP’s physician members to easily and securely exchange information electronically.
The service is built on the Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability, and is part of a larger to help “physicians more easily and securely share information such as referrals, patient summaries, discharge summaries and lab results when providing their patients’ care.”
On a personal note, I see this as a huge market-based advance. Part of American health care’s backwardness is directly due to the refusal by old-guard health IT firms to adopt standards that would facilitate the same kinds of easy, secure information exchange that we’ve seen elsewhere on the Web. That approach has held us all hostage, extracted billions of unnecessary dollars from us, and slowed the progress of patient care.
But as we all know, the market abhors vacuums, and it was only a matter of time before an innovator with the resources and connections offered a better, cheaper model that can translate directly into better care at lower cost.
Kudos to Surescripts for this innovation, and kudos to AAFP for having the vision and will to orchestrate bringing this service to its members first. Also, hats off to David C. Kibbe MD, my writing partner, for playing an instrumental role in facilitating this collaboration.
This is the way that real, meaningful change happens in the marketplace.