I recently read that an EHR vendor has taken steps to create interoperability standards that will allow its EHR systems to communicate with the larger players in the industry, namely Cerner and Epic. I definitely think this is a great step toward pushing the industry forward for the benefit of the nation’s patients. Large hospital systems should be the ones that smaller web-based electronic health record and client server EHR systems should talk to because they represent the hospital market. If government is having trouble promoting standards, than I must applaud the efforts of private vendors to take the lead on this most pressing issue for the Health IT industry and the nation’s healthcare system.
A question I had was why hasn’t there been a proliferation of these types of efforts sooner? If electronic health record vendors start banding together in partnerships that would be mutually beneficial, the whole nation can move faster toward a national HIE where EHRs can all speak to one another governed by one set of standards. I think the efforts of regional HIE’s has been noble and something all regions or states or cities should emulate, but we need something more impactful; something much more effective that can bring together so many disparate parties and disparate EHR systems. Web-based EHRs versus client server models may also be impacting the establishment of a mature, robust national HIE. Any ideas?