June 17 : ONC Proposal–Ten Years Too Late!
The ONC ‘s plan to ensure that individuals and care providers send, receive, find, and use a basic set of essential health information across the care continuum over the next three years while migrating policy and funding levers to create the business and clinical imperative for interoperability and electronic health information exchange is a great plan. But these capabilities are here today and not being utilized.
“Why wait ten years when we can do this today with the healthcare technology available from HIT visionaries already deploying Healthcare 2.0 like Zoeticx. This ten year road map only offers another major disruption. We can’t wait another ten years with billions re-investing in yet another form of EMR deployments,” says Doctor Donald Voltz, MD, an anesthesiologist at Cleveland’s Aultman Hospital where he oversees operations at the hospital’s central OR.
“Right now we have the ability to view patient medical information from different EMRs from one type of media. This type of technology will cut down potential errors, while at the same time, giving back precious time to care providers so they can take care of additional patients,” notes Dr. Howard Nearman, Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology and Preoperative Medicine at University Hospitals’ Case Medical Center.
While both doctors’ agree with the ONC’s vision, they are proponents of using current EMR technology, but adding the interoperability that is lacking with solutions such as middleware software from Zoeticx and other EMR connectivity organizations.
“This discussion on interoperability has been focused on HIEs (Healthcare Information Exchange) where duplicated patient medical data records add to the overall complexity. On the other hand, leading EMR vendors advocate for a rip-and-replace efforts. Why do healthcare institutes have to rip-and-replace already deployed EMRs, or create additional database layers in order to achieve interoperability?” says Dr. Voltz. “Why not leverage data from the existing deployed EMR solutions to dynamic patient medical information? We can do this today.”
“This train has left the station. As EMRs are deployed in most US healthcare facilities, to roll out the next generation of EMRs using a new patient medical format standard is mostly equivalent to a rip-and-replace of an EMR system, which would lead to another wave of service disruption and severely impact care providers’ bandwidth,” says Dr. Nearman.