CIO - This year's Health Information and Managements Systems Society's HIMSS13 conference began with a shocker: The announcement that five leading electronic health record (EHR) vendors were forming a group called the CommonWell Health Alliance that would promote "seamless interoperability" of healthcare data.
HIMSS13 also saw the announcement of The CURE Project, an interoperability initiative started by New Health Networks to put to task the healthcare community, not vendors or the federal government, to help define interoperability standards for healthcare applications that capture, update, report and exchange information.
There's also the imPatient Movement, an effort among NoMoreClipboard.com, Microsoft HealthVault and Indiana Health Information Technology to encourage patients to use an interoperable personal health record and providers to use the data in that PHR to improve care.
With a lack of interoperability standing as an obstacle to improving patient care--and reducing the estimated $750 billion in annual unnecessary healthcare spending in the United States--will parallel interoperability initiatives help or hurt the industry?
Vendor Interoperability Pledge Met With Skepticism
While industry observers noted that an EHR vendor interoperability pledge is better than no interoperability at all, reaction to the CommonWell announcement was, in a word, skeptical. (It didn't help that Epic Systems, arguably an EHR market leader, is not part of CommonWell.)
- Consultant and blogger Anne Zieger referred to it as an interoperability scheme, though she admitted, "the more data sharing the better, particularly by major players with significant market share."
- Dr. Adrian Gropper, CTO of Patient Privacy Rights, called it a shame and a missed opportunity-- a shame because "another program with opaque governance by the largest incumbents in health IT is being passed off as progress" and a missed opportunity because it doesn't involve physicians or patients.
- Dan Munro, founder and CEO of iPatient, expressed concern that publicly traded companies--with boards of directors and shareholders to please and quarterly objectives to meet--"don't make good candidates for lean, rapid and disruptive technical innovation."
- Jon Mertz, vice president of marketing for Corepoint Health, put it simply when he asked, what took so long?
That's why the men behind the CURE Project--Steven E. Waldren, M.D., senior strategist with the American Academy of Family Physicians and Robert L. Brown, vice president of professional services, Mosaica Partners--say interoperability will come only with what Brown describes as a "large-scale specifications development project."
Back in 2004, President George W. Bush called for widespread adoption of electronic health records. Rather than take the opportunity to recast the EHR system in the context of interacting with patients at the point of care, to make EHR less obtrusive and more efficient, the industry instead went full steam ahead, building hundreds of standalone systems the create and maintain EHRs, Brown says.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
While it may seem a contradiction in terms, digital automation tools may make possible a new level of personalization in medical care.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Healthcare Firm Ramps Up for Claims Processing Spikes
- Huge increases in claims processing loads and stringent SLAs for Medicaid patients prompted Molina Healthcare to enhance their IT infrastructure with VCE.
- Patient Portals: A Platform for Connecting Communities of Care
- Connecting patient health data across the care continuum is essential to achieve improved care, increased access to personal health records and lowered costs.
- 3 Ways Clinicians Can Leverage a Patient Portal to Craft a Healthcare Community
- With a bevy of vendors offering patient portal solutions, it can be challenging for a hospital to know where to start. Fortunately, YourCareCommunity...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard
- This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting
- This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the... All Healthcare IT White Papers
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- All Healthcare IT Webcasts