Common EHR? We Aren't Kidding

Want to know what a knowledgeable private-sector chief information officer for a large health system thinks about the task that faces the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs in trying to share electronic health records? The following is what John Glaser, vice president and CIO for Partners Healthcare in Boston, had to say about it. (Glaser was testifying at today's hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, the committee's chairman, asked Glaser what the private sector experience was with sharing electronic health records, or EHRs, at the scale of what the VA and Defense are trying to do.)

"A common EHR? That's interesting to me," he said. "That's a codeword for, 'You got to be kidding me.'"

Glaser then said a common EHR can be created, but it has to be closely managed by properly assigning resources and people's time.