When I was scuffling through the endless lab test results, I thought about digitizing the healthcare system. And this post is about the solution from my perspective.
The solution is not a deep-thinked rugged solution. It is just that on top of my mind. I hope that there are lot of benefits by building this health care system. With the advent of improved techniques in medical and cheap resources (system, storage), this soultion is practical.
First step is to provide unique number to each and evey individual in a state/country. There are many ways to do this. Let me not diverge to this topic now.Use the unique number as a patient number. Store every single medication or treatment or consultation in database. Thus we are going to maintain a complete medical history. This is going to take huge space and but it should be manageable. Every doctor should have access to this database to retrieve data and update. We need to somehow mandate this practise. Create and use a consistent software (standards can be set, so that different vendors follow it to the letter).
This will avoid hussles of maintaing medical records in hard-copies and to carry them around while visiting doctors. Will alleviate the patients from bizare medical questions (in finding whether the medicine is allergic) and hard test for their remembrance (when did you last get this?) sort of questions.
Moreover if the patient goes to overseas for treatment, they could take their medical history in a easy-to-go media.
This system should not have all those performance constraints. Given the fact of unique patient id, we can surely index/partition on patient's id. The data should be replicated and should be highly available.
Anything more I am missing?