A key aim in healthcare is to reduce variation. One of the methods to do this is to encourage the sharing and adopting of good practices.
- Problem 1: where is the good practice and who is doing what?
- Problem 2: how do I get to hear of good practices?
- Problem 3: how do I share what I am doing?
If data is information and knowledge is information we can use to make decisions, then how can data about good practices be shared.
A free application called "Healthmap: Outbreak near me" for the iPhone/iTouch has got me thinking. You can submit data about any disease and the location. This gets added to their database. You can see on a map any number of different diseases from Swine Flu through to African Horse Sickness. You can search by location, keyword or disease. If you allow it, the system can let you know what diseases are currently prevalent in your current location (using the GPS function).
So my please is for someone to develop the application for say, diabetes or cardiac care. I want to be able to find who (locally is great) is doing well on these healthcare processes and has something to share. Maybe even a version for patients where we can see the currently publicly available healthcare data on a map and in a searchable way. Also, we could add comments about services using the system.
The technology to do all this is here and available. As with so much I encounter in healthcare I suspect it may be another decade before we see something like this used.
Can someone prove me wrong please?