With all the talk of population health, interoperability and, now, the latest flurry of interest in personalized medicine, you would think we have already solved the problem of how we handle all the clinical information for a single patient at the point of care. Something I like to refer to as “a population of one.”


We have not. Picture a patient with seven or eight active clinical problems. If we ever get to interoperability where systems are sharing data, there will be a blizzard of SNOMED, RxNorm, LOINC, CPT, ICD, and other codes coming into that patient’s record. Not one of these was designed for point-of-care use by physicians. So, how does a physician faced with a population of one patient standing in front of her find the information she needs in this pile of disconnected data?


Current systems have different “buckets” for different types of information. Medications are in one place, orders in another and results may, or may not be, in yet another area. Now, say she wants to see the clinical data related to a specific problem. Well, given the current state of clinical systems, good luck with that.


But, with a clinical engine that can take all of those data points in various terminologies and score their relevance to each other using a diagnostic index to enable the physician to filter, or highlight, the items related to a specific problem, well, then she can actually find what she needs for a population of one.