HiMSS’ focus on several specific areas related to healthcare IT at this year’s event is essential to help move technology enhancements from hype to reality. Walking the show floor offers attendees a clear picture of what technology can do, but the platforms and data it uses must be consistent throughout the ecosystem.
If the U.S. healthcare system were an individual, it would be like the most spoiled adult you have ever met. Providers expect to be paid not only for their clinical services but also for any significant change to their workflow including the adoption of information technologies that all other sectors of society embraced because it made their products better or their organizations more efficient.
EHR platforms should be interoperable as a condition of the user’s participation in Medicare and Medicaid, not because providers are paid by CMS to buy new systems. We did not do this with the transition from paper based billing to electronic billing. The predecessor to CMS merely paid EDI claims faster and after most of the industry switched to EDI it eventually phased out most paper claims. This saved the government and providers money although I am sure that mail services and fax vendors were hurting.
The implementation of interoperable EHR platforms will enable the medical community to share information as easily as making a phone call or sending a text message to a worldwide audience. By the way, when was the last time you used a fax machine?