"We had it," he said calmly. "We took it out."
CCHIT, the Certification Committee for Healthcare Information Technology, is the industry's certification agency for health IT software.
My eye surgeon canned his system because it could not deal with a new data format. Others can theirs because of training issues, or lack of support. Failure seems especially common in small practices, which are under the most pressure to buy.
Consultant Shahid Shah told American Medical News early this year that one key to success is to phase in the software. But CCHIT only certifies complete suites, and is still bidding to control the approval process for the Obama stimulus passed early this year.
This is a problem both reformers and the government need to face up to. What happens to stimulus money when the system bought with that money turns out to be a lemon? Or is your choice of software using stimulus money your final answer?
If it is a lot of practices are going to go out of business. Call it death by software. (Pictured is where the first of my ancestors to be born in the U.S. is buried, alongside my grandfather, World War I veteran Edmund O'Donnell. Rest in peace, grandpa.)