When it comes to ONC, I think a few things have always been clear:
1. ONC has its heart in the right place.
2. ONC hates the government restrictions that have to work within as much as the rest of us.
If you’ve ever had a chance to meet with someone from ONC in person, then you know the first item to be true. They really do have a sincere desire to improve healthcare in America through the implementation of IT. Not only do you see that in person, but their actions compliment this as well. In fact, I’d say that they’re some of the most sincere parts of Washington DC that I’ve ever met.
The challenge comes with the second point. ONC has to work within the legislation and government regulations that they’re given. I once posted about Blumenthal’s HIMSS adress as being meaningless. Someone at ONC found it and asked what they could do to make his address more meaningful. I told them nothing, because he was subject to the government muzzle. I think they’re reply was something like, “Many of us here don’t like the government muzzle either.” Another simple example of how they are very sincere people at ONC. I wonder if Blumenthal could offer a non-muzzled speech now.
I say all of this as background for a tweet that Farzad Mostashari sent out to EHR vendors. The thing I love most about this tweet is that Farzad is using the farthest extent of his power possible to push forward health IT within the government framework. This is no easy task, but I think Farzad’s tweet is brilliant:
— Farzad Mostashari (@Farzad_ONC) September 7, 2012
I think the ONC pledge is still being considered by many EHR vendors. I know how EHR companies make decisions and so this won’t be any different. However, Farzad already posted this tweet with EHR companies that have made the pledge:
— Farzad Mostashari (@Farzad_ONC) September 8, 2012
Oh the power of a tweet! Can you imagine how simple, but powerful Farzad’s request could be? No complicated legislation. No expensive stimulus. No mind numbing regulation. Just good old fashioned public pledge to do what’s right. I wonder how else this could be used.