Monday, April 20, 2009

WSJ writes about the perils of an EMR stimulus

From the opinion page of the WSJ from April 14, 2009: "A competitive marketplace would produce the most innovative medical-records system"

I wrote earlier about the dangers of having the government force physicians into buying the "right" EMR systems. That is, systems approved or certified by the government, possibly CCHIT certification. This may have the unintended consequences of stifling competition and innovation. Can you imaging if the government had mandated that all businesses use a "certified" word processing system or a "certified" search engine? If this was the case, we'd all be using a Wang word processing system and Google may never have been created.

The WSJ puts it very nicely in this opinion piece:

"The ideal system would be an open platform for many developers to write applications that are allowed to succeed and fail, much like Apple's iPhone software. They argue that the key is "allowing competition and 'natural selection' for high-value, low-cost products."

"The stimulus hands the Obama Administration the power to define and approve "certified" records, therefore the power to create a health-tech monopoly. With stimulus money being shoveled out as quickly as possible, doctors and hospitals may end up prematurely investing in the costly systems that happen to have the government seal of approval -- and in the process freezing out an innovative marketplace."

1 comment:

Steve Hall said...

Dr. Singh, Do you interact with posters or emails?