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Hacking Healthcare is Fred Trotter's Passion

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2013

Knowledge, as they say, is power.


Incredible Fred


Photo: Regina Holliday

At the recent Health Datapalooza IV in Washington D.C., Fred was depicted (in a Regina Holliday paintingon the back of a business suit, no less) as The Incredible Hulk on the cover of a comic book, with the phrase, "You won't like him when he's angry."

But Fred doesn't get mad, he gets even.  

Case in point: Fred was heavily involved in the initial design of the Direct Protocol, a form of secure email currently being baked ino every electronic health record software package that aspires to be Meaningful Use Stage 2 compliant. Direct spells doom for countless, expensive interface modules connecting EHR A to EHR B.

Direct required a lot of other cooks in the kitchen, including a few forward-thinking software vendors. "I'm not a committee type," Trotter says. "I don't have time for that kind of thing, unless there's a high impact." Once the protocol got implemented in a few programming languages, Trotter returned to his software development business. That business includes authoring the O'Reilly book,Hacking Healthcare: A Guide to Standards, Workflows, and Meaningful Use, itself something of a hacker bible on the topic.

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