Health Care Industry Rejects HHS Electronic Medical Records Proposal
Medical industry leaders last week voted against an HHS-commissioned draft proposal to develop a national electronic health records system, the Wall Street Journal reports. The draft broadly addressed the functions of an electronic health records system, including providing instant access to patient information, computerizing medication ordering, checking for drug interactions and conducting public health surveillance. However, officials from groups including hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical associations, managed care organizations, public health agencies and information technology vendors said the proposal was "too complex," adding that some parts were "too ambiguous" while others were "too specific," according to the Journal. They also said the draft did not "leave enough room for flexibility," the Journal reports. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson in July asked the not-for-profit standards development group Health Level 7 and the Institute of Medicine to develop the proposal. HHS officials said the vote "isn't a big setback," adding that it will help them develop a system that is practical, the Journal reports. HHS expects to begin some electronic health record demonstration projects next year (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 9/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.