300 EHR Vendors and the Challenge of Interoperability

@GrandRounds4ODs posted an interesting tweet that caught my eye.

The tweet links to his blog post where he talks about the challenge of so many EHR vendors, overcoming a legacy model of building closed systems and the challenge of interoperability.

Here’s the money paragraph for me:

In a business sense, there is absolutely no business rationale to write software that cooperates with a competitor. Governmental regulations can “force” or “compel” interoperability, but if done with resentment, there will never be true information sharing.

I wonder what @GrandRounds4ODs thinks about the post I did on EMR and HIPAA about EMR Consolidation (or lack thereof).

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John,

    In your article on EMR Consolidation, you view the marketplace from the users and it is justified. There is little incentive for any doctor to use a common product and even much less incentive to use a product that was produced outside of their specialty.

    Even if an organization wanted to “buy up” organizations and keep them as separate entities, there may be management issues. First, there would be no “economies of scale”. In essence, if you keep division separate with their own development team, then those assets can never be used elsewhere.

    Secondly, marketing would be duplicative with no ability to repurpose a common “brand name” that can simplify product loyalty and identity in the market place. With 10 diffeent products with 10 different brands, the parent company never can break out of this mold. If this is the desire then I would hire a consumer packaged goods CEO who is trained to manage multiple high visibility brands.

    Lastly, the support issues would be immense and it would be well nigh difficult to maintain a consolidated release. Can you imagine an organization with 10-12 different launch dates. The mere noise might be distracting.

    Just a thought.

  • I think you could find economies of scale. They would just come from other areas of the company other than programming. As you state, the marketing would be duplicative and so it’s an area where you could leverage your marketing to the benefit of all companies.

    I haven’t run all the numbers in detail to know for sure if this is a great plan or not. However, I do think the theory of specialty specific EHR’s being a successful play is a good idea.

Click here to post a comment