Firms’ Electronic Health Records Effort Stalls
Omnimedix Institute has ceased work on a $15 million project to produce an interoperable electronic health record network for several major U.S. employers because of an undisclosed dispute with the consortium, the Wall Street Journal reports (McWilliams, Wall Street Journal, 7/27).
The initial company participants -- Applied Materials, BP America, Intel, Pitney Bowes and Wal-Mart Stores -- each contributed about $1.5 million toward development of the system, called Dossia. Dossia is based on the Connecting for Health Common Framework, a set of health care information technology guidelines developed by a public-private collaborative.
As designed, the system can accept manually or electronically inputted data from existing health records, and users can add their personal family health histories to their records. The records will be users' lifelong property, with access continuing into retirement and within the Medicare system.
Officials from the companies said the system eventually could lower health care costs by billions of dollars annually by reducing medical errors, improving management of chronic conditions, eliminating duplicate services and creating other efficiencies (cite>California Healthline, 12/7/06).
Cardinal Health and two other unnamed companies also have joined the consortium.
Omnimedix stopped work on the project, originally set to be available by mid-2007, because of a dispute with Dossia, the Journal reports.
Omnimedix Chair J.D. Kleinke declined to comment on the dispute, citing a court order.
According to the Journal, the dispute might "mean sponsors won't provide personal health records to employees and their families within this fall's health-plan enrollment period."
A spokesperson for Intel said the consortium "is in active discussions with other vendors" to continue working on the project, adding that the effort remains well-funded, and the consortium hopes to produce an early version of the system by the end of 2007.
The spokesperson said the individual companies also are working on privacy and security concerns as well as technical requirements and employee acceptance (Wall Street Journal, 7/27).