In a recent posting on Health Data Management's Discussion Board, a reader promotes the use of XML technology to create a standardized format for electronic health records, an idea that the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommended two days later (see story).

"The absence of a standardized format for EHRs is something that the retail, banking, automotive, shipping, publishing and other sectors would never tolerate," the reader argues. Given six months, every EHR vendor could translate their data to the specified XML format and if they can't, they shouldn't be in business in the first place, he adds.

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