Daily Archives: January 6, 2017

Health Information Exchanges

The Health information exchange is a term with at least two meanings – one refers to sharing of health data between organisations and the other is the actual structure that allows this sharing. I’ll stick with this definition (Hersh et al, 2015)

Health information exchange (HIE), the electronic sharing of clinical information across the boundaries of health care organizations‘.

Think of the example where a person visits their GP, has some blood tests and then goes to the specialist. The specialist might not have the results due to this type of information being retained within the primary care organisation. There is a good reason for this. In the UK we have the data protection act (1998), the outcome of the Caldicott review and also professional guidance on patient confidentiality.

Even with all of these complexities, it should be possible for two or more health information systems to exchange information. The process for creating an exchange between two healthcare systems can be costly both in terms of time and other resources. Given that there are multiple healthcare systems, there are a considerable number of interfaces that can be created.

A more elegant solution is to create an independent flexible database of health information that can interact with multiple health information systems. The principles are outlined in the video above by the company GE Healthcare. I should say at this point that any discussion about health information exchanges cannot be separated from the work of private providers. The private sector are leading the development of healthcare information exchanges.

This does mean however that some thought has to be given about how this can be translated across to the UK. This article for instance shows that in America, the discussions about health care exchanges occur in the context of an insurance based healthcare system which is distinct from the UK healthcare system.

From a UK perspective I can see there is much we can learn from the American healthcare system. At the same time, there are subtle and complex differences including drivers for change that mean lessons are not so straightforward.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here

Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link.

TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link.

Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk.

Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Conflicts of Interest: *For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.

 

 

 

Is the Cultural Context of the Mediterranean Diet Relevant for Cognition?

Does the Mediterranean diet also need to encompass the cultural elements of food gathering, food preparation and food consumption? This UNESCO video was created following the inclusion of the Mediterranean diet in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.

A quick search on medline using the terms “Mediterranean diet and culture” retrieved 258 results. In this study, researchers found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was decreasing in the population and that smoking was associated with a lower adherence. The question of cultural aspects of the diet in relation to cognition is also raised in this paper.

Nevertheless other studies use a more abstract construct of the Mediterranean diet in terms of the specific foods that are consumed. Although there are likely to be benefits from the cultural context of the Mediterranean diet (e.g. social participation), the research does support the benefits of the specific food components.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here

Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link.

TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link.

Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk.

Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Conflicts of Interest: *For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.