Archive for May, 2009
A recent article in The Washington Post has called into question the role of the private sector in setting standards for electronic health record (EHR) systems. Specifically, the article questions the appropriateness of allowing a group that originally pushed for stimulus funds to now have an oversight role in how those funds are spent.
This thinking is misguided. While government should continue to set the broad principles in defining “meaningful use” of EHR systems, it should also welcome the opportunity to partner with the private sector in defining certification requirements.
At issue are the efforts of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), an association of healthcare technology vendors and medical providers, to convince the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to require that EHR systems receiving stimulus funds be certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).
As documented by the Post, CCHIT includes “several board members that work for technology vendors,” and the current president is a former HIMSS executive.
HIMSS also helped educate Congress on the benefits of using stimulus funds for health IT, which resulted in the final stimulus legislation including billions for EHR systems