Pharm Aid has spent the week in Chicago at HIMSS 2009. Despite the rather sparse attendance, the show had a considerable amount of interest, thanks to President Obama's health IT initiative.
I last attended HIMSS almost 10 years ago. Gone are all of dot com health IT companies and only the large established players remain - GE, McKesson, Siemens and a few others. Noticeably absent was Cerner, once a major player in the field. One has to wonder if the economy has pushed them to the brink.
The tone has also moderated. Gone are the days of the classic "health IT can save the American health system and improve patient care at lower costs" to the more moderated position of "health IT can enable progress and should be an integral part of health reform." Essentially, there is a much healthier tone to the whole industry.
Health IT should play a role in pharmaceuticals as well. So far, pharma and the prescription record is the missing piece in the unified patient medical record. A doctor may prescribe and note it in the patient's EMR. But did the patient actually fill the prescription? How frequently did they go back for a refill (compliance and persistence)? In current EMRs, we know the physician's intent, but not the patient's behavior. Without it, a truly unified view of a patient's health will not be possible.