Interesting post this afternoon over on the WSJ Blog. Appears that Steve Leiber, the head of the industry group HIMSS made some comments to the reporters that were not all that positive regarding PHRs, more specifically stating: “Physicians aren’t going to trust it.”
I have two problems with this.
First, Leiber should provide full disclosure that HIMSS receives a boat-load of money from the EMR vendors that have a lot to loose should records begin migrating beyond the four walls of a hospital. First, it will force the issue of interoperability, something EMR vendors are loathed to adopt for like any other industry, interoperability gives the buyer choices and easier paths for migrating from one system to another. Also, these vendors are beginning to offer their own tethered-PHR, which is simply a consumer-centric EMR portal to their records. A PHR that resides outside of the EMR limits their market opportunity.
Second, in some small practices and rural community centers, physicians are starting to use consumer controlled PHRs as their EMR system. So, if these small PHR vendors can do something like this, who’s to say that Google won’t do something similar, again putting a big hurt on those EMR vendors (or at least those trying to go down market). Or how about this, AthenaHealth and Google Health form a partnership similar to the Salesforce.com – Google relationship. Now wouldn’t that shake the industry up a bit.
And as for that comment about PHRs and physicians not trusting them…
Well Mr. Leiber, with all due respect, I suggest you start actually talking to a few physicians rather than the EMR vendors for I have found many, including such luminaries as John Halamka, Toby Cosgrove and Denis Cortese to all be in strong support of consumer-controlled PHRs.
Idea: Maybe I should get a bunch of buttons printed up, similar to those Salesforce.com uses stating: Give Me My Records. Hmm, be fun to distribute those next year at HIMSS.