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Great Marc Probst Interview

Posted on May 2, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Marc Probst, CIO at Intermountain Healthcare and member of the new Health Information Technology Policy Committee, gave a really interesting interview to Healthcare Informatics. I really don’t know Marc Probst other than what I read in this interview, but I do know something about Intermountain Healthcare (or IHC as it’s known in Utah). When I was in high school I actually worked for IHC spending one hour a day cleaning a local doctors office. I’m glad those days are over and I don’t think I did a very good job at it either.

However, from that experience and also my high school friend’s dad being the CEO of IHC I got to know the company pretty well. I was really impressed with how the company was run. From the above interview I think that Marc Probst probably has quite a bit to do with that. Let me give a few examples of things he said that I liked:

AG: I completely agree about John (Glaser’s positive influence on defining “meaningful use”) and I’ve written as much. You may not know the answer to this, but there is also a Standards Committee that has yet to be formed. And there have been a lot of questions about what the differentiation might be between the Standards Committee and HITSP, John Halamka’s group. Do you have any information about the Standards Committee makeup, how it’s going to interact with the Policy Committee and the relationship of the Standards Committee to HITSP?

MP: I don’t know any of that, no.

AG: But they’re good questions.

MP: They are really good questions. Blumenthal has just gotten in and HHS still needs to finish their appointments, I think it’s just all very preliminary. Congress basically set down the dates for GAO to have to have the first 13 in place. But I don’t know if there are those same triggers out there for the other committee or the other seven on the Policy Committee. I think GAO has just met the timeline that they had to meet.

AG: We’re all just working our way through this, right?

MP: The best thing about standards is that there are so many of them, right? I hope the Standards Committee can become a brokering point to say, ‘Whether or not they’re the perfect standards, these are what we’re going to follow.’ Where does HITSP fit in this? Where does HL7 fit in this? I don’t know. We may only be 85 percent right in terms of agreement, but boy, it would be nice to have a target to go after.

Call me crazy, but I like I guy that’s not afraid to say that he doesn’t know. Makes me trust someone a lot more when they don’t try to fake something.

AG: Let’s not forget CCHIT.

MP: Do we have to talk about CCHIT?

AG: We can never leave any acronyms out as far as I’m concerned.

MP: CCHIT in my book is really good; I’m just concerned about a blanket rule that every system has to be CCHIT-certified, boy, that’s got a lot of challenges in that statement, and I’d be careful.

My understanding is that IHC built most of their EHR systems in house. This may be why Probst is not so happy with the blanket statement of CCHIT, but he realizes he has to be politically correct enough to not bash it (something I haven’t learned).

Let’s just say that I’m quite happy to see Marc Probst on the Health Information Technology Policy Committee. I’m adding him to my list of really smart and thoughtful people in healthcare.

HIT Policy Committee Has No Small Practice Representation

Posted on April 5, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of my loyal readers and colleagues in the EHR field recently sent me a link (pdf) to the list of members that were announced on the Health Information Technology (HIT) Committee. Take a look at the list of members on the HIT Policy Committee:

  • Christine Bechtel, vice president, National Partnership for Woman and Families
  • Arthur Davidson, director, Public Health Informatics, Denver Public Health Department; director, Denver Center for Public Health Preparedness; medical epidemiologist; director, HIV/AIDS Surveillance, City and County of Denver
  • Adam Clark, research and policy director, Lance Armstrong Foundation
  • Marc Probst, chief information officer, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Paul Tang, vice president and chief medical information officer, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  • Scott White, assistant director, technology project director, 1199 SEIU Training and Employment Fund
  • LaTanya Sweeney, director, Data Privacy Lab, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Neil Calman, president and chief executive officer, Institute for Family Health
  • Connie Delaney, dean, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
  • Charles Kennedy, vice president, Health Information Technology, Wellpoint
  • Judith Faulkner, founder, CEO, president and chairman of board, Epic Systems
  • David Lansky, president and CEO, Pacific Business Group on Health
  • David Bates, medical director for clinical and quality analysis, Partners HealthCare/Brigham and Women’s Hospital

I think the person that sent it to me was surprised that someone from Epic, a private vendor, was on the committee. What was more interesting to me was that there wasn’t one representative on the HIT policy committee from a small doctor’s office. There was plenty of hospital representation and public health but no one to speak for the small doctors offices. Sad part is that small doctors offices make up the major part of the US healthcare system and should be the ones who really need to access the HITECH Act EHR stimulus money.

Looks like my list of HITECH Act EHR stimulus winners is becoming more true every day. My list didn’t include small doctors’ offices and neither did their committee.