Dear New York Times: Next Time, Dig Deeper Into The EHR Vendor Industry

Marla Durben Hirsch | FierceEMR | February 26, 2013

There's been quite an outpouring of sentiment about last week's New York Times article "A Digital Shift on Health Data Swells Profits in an Industry", most of it negative. Many of the 525 comments that the article received blasted electronic health record systems themselves: their lack of usability and interoperability, loss of privacy and reduced physician-patient interaction. Other commenters ragged on the article itself for mischaracterizing the Meaningful Use Program as a "giveaway" and bias against the adoption of EHRs...

...And I also would like to have learned why the government seems to still be walking on eggshells with the EHR vendor industry. Why is the industry relatively unregulated, while providers are drowning in regulations? Why aren't vendors required to report adverse safety incidents, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine, but rejected by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in its draft program on health IT and patient safety? Why are vendor contracts allowed to be so one-sided? These are questions that I'd like answered.

The past is interesting, but the Times really should have tried to answer some of the questions we have in 2013. That's an article we're all waiting to read.