Golden Fleece Revisited or Here’s What You Get for a Half Million $$$s

Last year I resurrected former Senator William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Award bestowing this fine honor on the bone-heads in Washington that thought one of the big hurdles to HIT adoption was confusion in the market over 6 acronyms (EHR, EMR, HIE, HIO, RHIO and PHR).

Well, after two meetings, several months work and the expenditure of $500,000 (or $83,000/acronym), the fine folks at the National Alliance for Health Information Technology and the main contractor, beltway bandit Bearing Point, have arrived at consensus definitions for these acronyms.

Drum Roll Please

and they are..

  • EMR, Electronic Medical Record: “An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization.”
  • EHR, Electronic Health Record: “An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one health care organization.”
  • PHR, Personal Health Record: “An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, shared, and controlled by the individual.”
  • HIE, Health Information Exchange: “The electronic movement of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.”
  • HIO, Health Information Organization: “An organization that oversees and governs the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.”
  • RHIO, Regional Health Information Organization: “A health information organization that brings together health care stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs health information exchange among them for the purpose of improving health and care in that community.

Wow, am I ever impressed at the brilliance of this group to come up with definitions for these terms. Boy, they must have had to really rack their brains to accomplish such an amazing feat.

If you want your own copy of this thought provoking report, by all means have at it. You’ll find it over at NAHIT’s website.

Future Outcome:

Expect rapid acceleration in the sales on all things HIT with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeding 46%/year for the next five years.  And if you believe that, I have this really nice bridge down in Brooklyn I can let you have for cheap.

Sure hope the next administration will show more wisdom than what was demonstrated here.

Posted in Consumer Engagement, Electronic Health Records, Health Information Exchange, policy, RHIO Tagged with: , , , ,
2 comments on “Golden Fleece Revisited or Here’s What You Get for a Half Million $$$s
  1. Will says:

    And they don’t conform to everyday usage, either. 90% of PHRs don’t conform to “recognized standards”, I’ve never heard anyone use the phrase HIO, and EHR and EMR are effectively interchangeable – at least according to the vendors. We’re about five years too late for that particular bit of nuance to take hold!

  2. John says:

    Agree Will, five years too late and now $500,000 poorer.

    To think what that $500,000 could have done in another venue, say some ROI studies of PHR effectiveness and best practices to promote adoption.

    Hey Dept HHS, I just finished a lengthy report and looking for something new, how about pushing me $500K and I’ll do that ROI/adoption study. Rest assured, the tax payer will get their money’s worth!

    And you know what, it may just do a better job of promoting HIT adoption than this effort to define some common acronyms.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Golden Fleece Revisited or Here’s What You Get for a Half Million $$$s"
  1. [...] PHR to their patients by 2013.  Trouble here is how will HHS define what that PHR is?  Last year, HHS paid a princely sum to have the PHR term defined (see below).  This term, we have been told, is what will be used [...]

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