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.

"The whole point of the drive for the adoption of EHRs is to provide portability of information across departments, physicians and institutions. Specifying that there should be a certain degree of functionality within a closed system with regard to the internal use of EHRs is not fulfilling the mandate for their use," the reader contends. The Discussion Board post is available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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