Your Facebook-like Health and Status Feed

I recently read Vishnuvardhan t request something interesting for healthcare IT:

Real Time Health and Status Feeds (like the one we see in many social networking sites) for doctors, physician, nurses integrated into the clinical workflow rather than as a separate screen is very important for real time decision making.

I find the idea quite intriguing and I love the idea of taking from the addicting world of social networking sites and applying that to healthcare. The challenge I have with the idea comes largely from the way we use social networks. In most cases, users don’t read every message of their social network. I certainly don’t read every Facebook post or tweet that comes across my networks. In fact, I’d probably have to spend all day every day to do so. I just sample messages at random intervals and even then I’m getting a filtered feed of information (at least on Facebook).

Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work in healthcare where if you miss a key piece of data, then someone dies. Physicians and nurses can’t just sample a real time health and status feed across their patients choosing the ones that look interesting.

Although, the idea of having a detailed health and status feed for a patient could be quite interesting. It would need to contain each and every piece of healthcare data that’s available and could be a very cool approach to getting an update on a patient.

Imagine also that this real time health and status feed pulled in information from your local EHR, but also pulled in information from outside the EHR as well. Think about labs, x-rays, primary care providers, etc all getting their information sucked into this feed.

We’re not there today, but I find it an interesting way to think about a person’s health history as a real time feed of health information.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

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