March 26, 2009

Journal Articles Question Plan for Digital Health Records - NYTimes.com

Journal Articles Question Plan for Digital Health Records - NYTimes.com:


Bravo for these doctors stepping up and making the case for correctly implementing electronic health records . Most present vendors thrive on locking-in doctors practices, clinics and hospitals to their proprietary software. The game must end.

It's essential that the latest and pending developments for web-centric software are targeted for spending these $ Billions.

Alas, last I read, 'team Obama's' CIO had stepped aside temporarily pending investigations of corruption charges involving some in is District of Columbia office.

I hope and expect that Microsoft, Google, IBM, GE HealthCare and others will step forward on this issue.

"In the article, identified as a “perspective,” Dr. Kenneth D. Mandl and Dr. Isaac S. Kohane portray the current health record suppliers as offering pre-Internet era software — costly and wedded to proprietary technology standards that make it difficult for customers to switch vendors and for outside programmers to make upgrades and improvements.

Instead of stimulating use of such software, they say, the government should be a rule-setting referee to encourage the development of an open software platform on which innovators could write electronic health record applications. As analogies, they point to other such software platforms — whether the Web or Apple’s iPhone software, which the company has opened to outside developers.

In the Mandl-Kohane model, a software developer with a new idea for health record features like drug allergy alerts or care guidelines could write an application, and those could be added or substituted for a similar feature.

Such an approach, they say, would open the door to competition, flexibility and lower costs — and thus, better health care in the long run. “If the government’s money goes to cement the current technology in place,” Dr. Mandl said in an interview, “we will have a very hard time innovating in health"
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