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Combating Interoperability Failure, No More Patients Killed by Friendly Fire?

Are organizations hoarding? Unwilling to share? Uncooperative? Heartless? When referring to the sharing of patient clinical records, are we talking about EHR vendors, acute care provider organizations, family practice doctors, or HIEs? It doesn’t matter much if the patient dies as a result of not sharing records. In September of 2014, many of the largest EMR vendors challenged KLAS to step up and be the Switzerland of interoperability to help speed up plug-and-play clinical exchange that effortlessly slides into the clinician workflow. Accepting the assignment with trepidation, KLAS will use key findings from over 240 recent healthcare provider interviews as a catalyst for actionable solutions at the KLAS Keystone Summit, Oct. 1–2.

The presidents of key EHR software suppliers will convene at the summit to collaborate and then commit to a measurable action plan that will speed up interoperability. A number of industry leaders (like Micky Tripathi; John Halamka, MD; Daniel Nigrin, MD; and Stan Huff, MD) will help moderate, lead, and motivate the vendor participants to get to a summit parchment bearing the signatures of those willing to be measured in a realistic way, dramatically moving the industry forward. Vendor executives looking over KLAS’ shoulder for the recent study and participating in the summit include Jonathan Bush (athenahealth), Paul Black (Allscripts), Zane Burke (Cerner), and Judy Faulkner (Epic). Also willing to lead out in the summit will be Girish Kumar (eClinicalWorks), Jan De Witt (GE Healthcare), Tee Green (Greenway), Chris Bauleke (Healthland), Pat Blake (McKesson), Hoda Sayed-Friel (MEDITECH), Craig Herrod (MEDHOST), and Rusty Frantz (NextGen Healthcare), adding their voices and anxious to step up.

Accusations of foot-dragging, selfish business goals and misplaced priorities aimed at providers, vendors, government HIEs, and even the government itself fly across the wire and pop up on Twitter feeds. To remove the mist and gain some clarity, CHIME has partnered with KLAS on this challenging undertaking and will carry the study findings to Congress and other governmental agencies to provide some transparency. The willingness and commitment of seriously competitive vendors to come together to solve this challenge is a landmark event that should be applauded and forward the aim of no more patients killed or injured by friendly fire. Congress and federal agencies are likely to cheer when they know such action is voluntarily taken. Let’s get out of our own way and solve this problem.