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"America's health care system is second only to Japan, Canada, Sweden, Great Britain ... well, all of Europe…………… "

- Homer Simpson!


USA spends more than any other country in the world on healthcare but continues to suffer poor access, higher individual financial burden, inefficient care and a higher medical error rate than most other developed countries.  The system is a tangled and fragmented where it's difficult to get systems to talk to one another..  A combination of managed care, extensive specialization of medicine, and continual changes in healthcare insurance coverage, create scattered medical records.  This deficiency hinders the system’s ability to improve both quality and productivity and to manage costs and safeguard data.  A non-portable decentralized storage of medical records leads further to higher costs.  Nearly $2.0 trillion spent annually in 2004 and 31 cents of every U.S. healthcare dollar spent on administrative costs. 

The key challenges:

Challenges Current Problem
Healthcare System Fragmented and chaotic that wastes resources by duplicating efforts
Healthcare Expenditure 16.5% of its annual GDP, projected to escalate to 20.0% ($4.0 trillion) by 2015
Medical Cost Very high premium. Nationwide annual increase 12% to 24%
Medical Errors Harms 1.5 million people and kills 100,000 every year, annual cost $37.6 billion
Electronic Medical Record Only 5% primary care providers and 15–20% hospitals have an operational system.
Duplicative Tests 20% prescribed tests are duplicative.  Amounts to 33% of healthcare expenses.
Defensive Medicine Doctors order more tests to protect themselves.  10% increase in annual cost.
Adverse Drug Events 6% national healthcare cost or $76.6 billion; $47B related to hospitals
Communication 48% patients report errors due to lapses in communication.
Medical Records Doctors can’t move information and specialists work independently.
Incompatible systems Non-integrated and disparate legacy systems that do not talk to one another. 
Flow of Information No tools to assist physicians with clinical data for specific patient's condition.
Patient Empowerment No information to assist doctor-patient relationship. No involvement of patients.
Aging and Disease Management 50% of Americans between 50-74 years. 95% of expenses occur in the last 5% of a person’s life.
Genetic Family History Physicians spend 2.5mins on psychosocial concerns of family history and not on health matters.
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