There are currently over 1,100 EMR’s in the US alone. Data sharing between these systems is actively blocked to protect market share despite recent regulations mandating interoperability. Interoperability is the sharing of the patient’s healthcare data between different medical record systems. When only the minimum interoperability standards are met, the data transferred is not done in a meaningful or useful format. Frequently medical records from outside systems are provided as multiple different copies of medical records, all of which are frequently incomplete and inaccurate. Medical errors cause 250,000 preventable patient deaths per year in the US. Because of the convenience of electronic medical records, fewer patients bring physical copies of their medicine lists, nor can they recall this information with any meaningful accuracy as they incorrectly assume their healthcare data is “in the computer,” updated and accurate. LEMUR aims to remove the obstacles and incentives that are preventing patients from having control of their core medical records and healthcare data.
There are over one million professionally active physicians in the United States using over one thousand different software systems. But those systems, for the most part, do not share data accurately or in a meaningful format. When a patient moves from one physician (or healthcare system) to another, their electronic record becomes disjointed, and some of this history is lost or becomes inaccurate leading to lost time finding the data, re-entry into a new system, or costly repeat testing to replace the lost information. The administrative burden is great for the physician, which is an additional source of healthcare provider burnout. A patient’s recall of multiple years of history may not be totally accurate and can lead to medical errors and missed diagnosis increasing morbidity and mortality. We have the potential to create a core medical record that can be shared by the patient when needed which allows for decrease administrative burden and better interoperability between systems.
LEMUR feels it is vital to provide these services to patients for free due to the social inequality that already exists in the healthcare system. Larger more profitable healthcare systems and insurance plans could provide a similar platform and deliver it to their patients, but this furthers the divide in access to care. Approximately 20% of the population uses 80% of the healthcare costs. These target groups are typically poor and in underserved communities that do not have access to quality medical care and may not have access to systems and software that can help them lower costs. Our system provides the least to those who need it the most and LEMUR is attempting to change this dynamic.
Despite the massive size of the market, there are few patient medical record systems, and none that truly integrate with all EMR’s, all pharmacies, and all providers. Few are also free to patients and therefore are inherently discriminative based on the ability to pay or subjected to outside biases from ads. Many Americans who most need access to better, more affordable care cannot afford any additional costs.
It’s important that we clarify that we are NOT an EMR and do not wish to compete with current EMR’s on the market. We hope we can help them address interoperability by focusing on the core data fields where we feel accuracy is most paramount. Hospital and provider-based EMR’s are especially important, and competition among them leads to better products and outcomes for all of us. When EMR’s were first implemented, they increased mortality by 11% at those healthcare systems, but they have recently been found to be 0.09% better than hospitals that were not fully implementing EMR’s. Currently, 85% of hospital systems use EMR’s. However, this amazing improvement is not good enough; We believe that, together with a patient EMR system like LEMUR, better interoperability, with live and universal updates, EMR’s can be exponentially better.
A long-known issue in healthcare is the lack of patient engagement in their own health. Patients with no control and limited access to their information create passive care recipients who are not active, fully engaged consumers of care. Not only does this lead to a worse outcome but higher costs and decreased access for others. Healthcare tends to be done to patients or around patients, and we need a system the requires more involvement of the patient. Allowing them to become true consumers will improve outcomes and dramatically cut costs for all of us.