Microsoft endorses standards for health IT

Cerner, McKesson, and the other major market players will have enormous difficulty in meeting these goals, having to convert their installed base to the concept. Microsoft has a smaller installed base, and would not face those costs.

In the general enterprise market Microsoft is dominant, and can often be seen trying to push proprietary standards.

In the health IT market Microsoft is not dominant. Cynics will claim this is why its top health care guy, Peter Neupert, has endorsed a commitment to open standards on his blog.

In the post, co-written with David Kibbe of The Health Care Blog, Neupert offers some ambitious goals:

  • Patients’ clinical data should be in 75% of ERs, clinics  and hospitals by year-end.
  • Doctors should all be given a “face sheet” with all data relevant to a visit and it should be made available to patients online.
  • Patients should always be given an after-visit report online, which includes the next steps for care according to best practices.

Neupert and Kibbe write that Wisconsin's Health Information Exchange and CVS' MinuteClinics already provide this kind of value. Neupert is commiting Microsoft's Amalga unit to supporting this move.

Microsoft stands to gain an awful lot if this plan is accepted by policymakers.

Cerner, McKesson, and the other major market players will have enormous difficulty in meeting these goals, having to convert their installed base to the concept. Microsoft has a smaller installed base, and would not face those costs.

It is the most audacious move in the health IT market in some time. The fact that it's good public policy and good IT policy should not distract us, however, from noting that it's also in Microsoft's business advantage.

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