Patients deserve their data | Guest Editorial by Joe Kiani, Masimo CEO

December 11, 2012 by MassDevice

Masimo founder, board chairman and CEO Joe Kiani's perspective on the "frustration many patients experience in trying to obtain their own health information, even from devices that are implanted inside their own bodies."

Joe Kiani

By Joe Kiani

It's astonishing there is even a debate whether patients should have access to their own health information from medical devices being used to physically monitor their wellbeing.

Keeping patients in the dark is not a prescription for patient safety and better patient outcomes. Indeed, access to information critical to the health of an individual is at the heart of improving patient safety.

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The tragedy reported in the New York Times of 12-year-old Rory Staunton from Queens, N.Y., who died this year from sepsis just a few days after being released from a hospital, stands as a stark reminder of how communication silos in healthcare contribute to sometimes avoidable adverse events. Other recent stories of patients with heart defibrillators underscore the frustration many patients experience in trying to obtain their own health information, even from devices that are implanted inside their own bodies.

I recently met with the mother of an 11-year-old girl who died of preventable respiratory depression that went undetected. I believe that avoiding the death of one child and all the destruction it can bring to families is enough reason to do everything reasonable to ensure these types of preventable tragedies never occur. Part of that is ensuring patients have access to their own health information, regardless of where it resides or who perceives ownership of it.

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