An article in today’s Washington Post links to a letter written by Senator Charles E. Grassley.
The letter is directed at 10 EMR (electronic medical record) vendors, and asks very pointed questions about whether the vendors have been negligent in not addressing patient safety issues in their technologies.
Senator Grassley, you have the scent and you’re on the trail. There are several other questions you should be asking these vendors:
- Prior to the HITECH Act, why did EMR vendors promote and government policy tolerate non-interoperable EMRs? Health care isn’t like computer operating systems — where competing, non-interoperable tech is fine. Lives are at stake.
- Why is the failure and de-install rate of EMRs so high?
- Why have EMRs cost so much?
- Why have vendors paid so little attention to the usability issue…even HIMSS’ recent study acknowledges the seriousness of this problem.
- Why is the government favoring payment for EMRs over other equally promising or more promising technology. From the Nutting report, Initial Lessons From the First National Demonstration Project on Practice Transformation to a Patient-Centered Medical Home:
…[I]t is possible and sometimes preferable to implement e-prescribing, local hospital system connections, evidence at the point of care, disease registries, and interactive patient Web portals without an EMR.
Graphic from Lyle. Berkowitz MD, Improving EMRs PowerPoint, http://drlyle.blogspot.com/2009/04/improving-emrs-2009.html April 2009
Table of contents for the series--The Dog Manifesto: A Disruptive Innovator's Guide to Health IT
- Will HITECH Lead to Innovation? The Continuing Cat/Dog Dialogue
- Dogged Optimism: Five Innovative Aspects of HITECH
- Feline Foot-Dragging: Three Non-Innovative Aspects of HITECH
- Wait and See: What’s Unclear or To-Be-Determined (TBD) About HITECH.
- Can Cats Think Outside the Box? Here’s a Role Model.
- Stand for Quality Group: “Link HIT Investment to Quality Improvement”
- EHR 2.0: Thinking Outside the Cat Box
- Stunning Announcement: AMA Goes to the Dogs in Deal With Physician Web Portal Company
- Markle v. HIMSS: Differing Views of “Meaningful Use” and “Certification”
- Time for EHRs to Become Plug-and-Play
- Blueprint for Change: From EMR 1.0 to Clinical Groupware (EHR 2.0)
- Joe the Doctor: “…’scuse me, why do I want to bet-my-practice on an EMR?”
- RHIOs Emerging From Coma
- HIT Policy Committee Recommends “Minimum” Certification of EHRs
- PR Blunder of the Year: Federation of American Hospitals Says Meaningful Use Should Not Tie to Quality Improvement
- The Third Rail in HITECH Implementation: “Please Don’t Make Us All Speak Latin”
- Senator Grassley: You’re on Track About EMR Problems, But Here Are Some More Questions to Ask
- John Halamka’s Stunning 180: “Dogs and Cats Should Live in Harmony”
- Feedback Rolls in on Halamka’s New Stance on Standards: Cats Pissed, Dogs Thrilled