Last week, the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors Association EHRVA announced the availability of a “Quickstart Guide for CCD Standard.” The guide is structured to assist the multitude of electronic medical record (EMR) vendors, both large and small, in how to adopt the recently released (January 2007) Continuity of Care Document (CCD) standard in their current and future products. By adopting this standard the EHRVA hopes that the industry will move closer to that elusive goal of interoperability across the various EMR solutions in use today.
Of course, this is not completely altruistic (is any vendor sponsored initiative altruistic?) as EHRVA would like to have some control over the situation rather than have some federal entity like the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) force it upon them.
One question does arise when looking at such developments, especially those promoted by one distinct, albeit important group like the EHRVA and that is how will these standards be adopted and used by the multitude of other healthcare IT vendors such as those creating personal health records, enabling telehealth and the like. The industry as a whole is moving towards greater involvement of the consumer in managing their health and wellness and I do not see the involvement of such stakeholders in this effort, which is unfortunate and seemingly myopic.