My firs thoughts on this agreement is that this is interesting since we are still somewhat at the early stages here in the US but who knows maybe each entity can learn from the other and secondly, in the US are we going to be able to afford it as this is becoming a huge area of expense with connecting so many varied types of systems and software. Some vendors are a jump ahead of many on at least integrating ambulatory systems with hospitals so now we are ready to cross continents or at least get ready for it. Information for the most part is still held in proprietary systems, and providers cannot share and act upon the data.
What this does is bring up the aggregation companies to once again step in and set up the processes, and those health insurers who have purchased such companies like Aetna and United, if they get the business, stand to pocket a bit more money. Of course the best thing one can do is to get that personal health record in place while all of this is going on as who knows how long this is going to take. XML was discussed as a common language and even the use of search engines with appropriate security could work, maybe? BD
WASHINGTON – An eHealth agreement, promoting a common approach on the interoperability of EHRs and on training the health IT workforce, was signed between Europe and the United States on Friday.
Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Washington. The agreement aims to boost the potential of the eHealth market for EU companies wishing to do business in the U.S. and vice-versa.
"Nothing makes more of a difference to people's lives than good health," said Kroes. "I warmly welcome today's agreement. It is an excellent basis for the Commission and the U.S. authorities to expand our cooperation on promoting the overall benefits of eHealth for patients, health systems and companies."
The memorandum stresses the need for a joint vision on internationally recognized and utilized interoperability standards for electronic health record systems and increased competences and mobility of IT professionals. Such common standards are important to achieve widespread interoperable eHealth services so that eHealth can reach its full global market potential, said officials.