The incomparable Joseph Conn has an article up about the potential fate of CCHIT under the Obama administration.
I do not believe that it should be refunded under its current form. For several reasons.
- First, CCHIT favours proprietary EHR business models vs FOSS EHR business models.
- CCHIT favours kitchen sink EHRs vs. niche EHR models.
- CCHIT favours expensive EHRs over inexpensive EHRs.
- CCHIT has no bearing on company stablity.
- While CCHIT celebrates its success at becoming a requirement on many bids, all this has done is box out inexpensive, freedom-respecting solutions.
- WorldVista EHR is CCHIT certified, indicating that the technical challenges in CCHIT are not really a barrier.
Some quotes from Josephs article to support my position:
“I bet we’ve spent a quarter of a million dollars in development costs just to get around the functionality that is being forced into the system,” Oates (Randall Oates is a physician who is founder and president of SoapWare) said. He argues that more than half of the functionality CCHIT requires could be moved out of the core system requirements into extensions.
Oates said that to make EHR systems usable, they have to be tailored “to make them suitable to the various niches in healthcare,” Oates said. “You can’t have one-size-fits-all. Things that could be straightforward and easy have to be bloated and cumbersome. It really has hurt the progress for adoption.”
SoapWare is famous for a reasonably priced low-end EHR for small practices. I wish it were open source but it does target practices that are largely ignored by the big vendors.
CCHIT, rather than creating a “seal of approval” is a millstone around the neck of the HIT industry. It is totally incompatible with the concept of low-cost/high-quality EHRs. Rather it increases costs and in some cases decreases quality.
Something needs to be done.