Use EHR, PHR, EMR, RHIO, HIT, HIE and migrate to ICD-10 and all the nation’s healthcare problems will be solved. Got it? 

In talking to some healthcare industry analysts from Gartner recently, I was told that medical students learn 100,000 new words in their first year of med school.  The average person knows 30,000 words.  VOSER (acronym eight, if you are counting) is software that is translating medical speak so doctors can more clearly understand this language and communicate to improve patient treatment, and ultimately, the patient care experience. 

For example, a doctor will be aware that her patient is on Accutane, which is also known as isotretinoin and various trade names including  Amnesteem, Claravis, Decutan, Isotane, Izotek, Oratane, Roaccutane and Sotret.  If that patient needs treatment, VOSER will enable her doctor to have access to all the possible complications of any of the variations of that drug.

Doctors, hospitals and health systems will have this high tech VOSER software to help them but who is going to break it down to Josie Consumer?  Should patients bring a medical translator to the doctor’s office? Acronym-laden healthcare vocabularies are now overflowing into consumer conversations about healthcare reform.

President Obama’s speech to Congress last week touched lightly on Personal Health Records (PHR).  Sadly, the average American does now know the benefit of PHR and the average healthcare-related company has all hands on deck just to sift through the fine print to understand how – and even if – they can benefit.  (One analyst told me it took him two full days to get through the area of the stimulus package that covered his healthcare technology area of specialty.)

Bring on the healthcare money offered via the economic recovery package, but please break it down so we can use it.  This communications disconnect is leaving the companies that are creating the technology to move health records online and the consumers that will benefit from that change in the dark. 

Dear U.S. government, do you need some help communicating the message about these benefits?  I know a great PR firm…

— Elin Nozewski

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