CIO: Let’s kill the EHR certification process

Here’s a very interesting post on EHRs written by a straight-shooting hospital CIO.

Will Weider, CIO of Ministry Healthcare and Affinity Health System, is based in Wisconsin and oversees IT operations for about 14 hospitals. His blog, “The Candid CIO,” often shares contrarian views on health IT topics, including the advance of EHRs. In the following post, he’s challenging the basic assumptions the government has made on how to roll out EHRs.

Before we explain Weider’s views, here’s some background for non-techies. For about 14 months, a goverment agency known as ONCHIT (the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) has worked to develop a standard for EHRs which would give buyers some assurance that they weren’t getting a junky system.  Providers who meet the government’s “meaningful use” standard — using EHRs in a more-than-superficial way — will get a substatial bonus.

But now things are topsy-turvy. ONCHIT’s certification development process seems to be stalled; now, it’s suggesting that providers go ahead with rolling out their EHR without worrying about getting a meaningful use certifications.

As Weider sees it, this should seal the fate of ONCHIT, which in his opinion has blown its mandate. To him, the time has come to give ONCHIT a mercy killing — along with meaningful use standards, perhaps — and move on.  Weider’s final word:  “Certification is blocking EHR progress.  There is one rational solution: BANG.”

What do you think, readers?

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.