Below is a comment I wrote September 30, 2009 to Government Health IT in response to an article written about a conversation the author had with John Halamka titled, “Halamka: How to build a long distance service for healthcare.” http://govhealthit.com/newsitem.aspx?nid=72152 Most people whose comments I’ve read regarding Mr. Halamka’s vision for how the national EHR roll out might work tend to be quite supportive. I don’t think my comments fall into the supportive category. That may account for why they have yet to appear in print. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, here’s what I offered.
I wrote several weeks ago that we ought to look at the telecoms networks, ATMs, OnStar, or some existing platform. My argument for redoing the national roll out strategy along those lines is that it may provide a way to eliminate the middleman, the RHIOs and HIEs, whose only real role seems to be like a train station in the middle of going from NY to LA. If nobody ever gets on or off, why have it.
The critical success factor of the telecommunications networks is called an interconnect, it’s what gets the call from A to B and provides redundant carriage. It’s also what eliminates the need for a middleman.
The AP wrote today that the current EHR national roll out plan will not work http://ow.ly/rPOH. With all respect to those working so hard on the current roll out plan, I think we need a serious rethink about what type of plan is required for the EHR roll out to work instead of pushing water uphill trying to make the current plan work. Here’s some thoughts I had about how it might be approached.