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Last Tuesday, June 2, I was on a consumer panel at a board meeting of the National eHealth Collaborative. This is a heady group to be addressing; as this press release says,  nine of these people are on the advisory committees that are working directly with David Blumenthal, Obama’s National Coordinator for Health IT, to set policy and standards.

My deepest, sincerest thanks to Steve Findlay of Consumers Union, who invited to be on this panel. What a radical idea: have a consumer on a consumer panel! It’s so good to see the skies opening in this way.

The topic was whether “consumer pull” would encourage healthcare providers to adopt electronic medical record systems (EMRs). (Like, if you and I keep asking our doctors and hospitals to let us see our data online, will they be more likely to get off their butts and GET our data online??)

All I can say is, if I have anything to do with it, consumers (that’s you) will be clamoring to see their medical records, both to check their accuracy and for the reason I sent my data to Google Health in the first place: to get involved in their care, to be responsible, to participate.

Go thou into the wilderness and clamor for access!

Here are the slides I used, with a few more added to make it a self-running presentation. Some of the text is small, so take it to full screen:

The panel was videotaped. Here’s my talk. The sequence of slides (for instance the opening “takeaways”) is a little different from the above slides, but the flow is essentially the same.

For reference, here’s the full unedited video of the hour-long testimony including the other speakers. My portion starts at 34:09.
Full video of consumer panel at NeHC board, June 2, 2009

The other panelists were phenomenal; I learned a ton from their expert observations. Some of it was over my head until I listened a couple of times; they have years of experience in these policy discussions.  All I know is, I want us to have access to our own damn data. :–)

By the way, a big thank-you to, the free service that converted my slides for posting here, including my animations and slide transitions, which cause fits for most such services. Good tool!


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