Umbdenstock no old boy
David Burda uses his editorial license to report on rumors and allege that American Hospital Association officials are secretly advancing the "good old boys" club -- over what ("Need not apply?" April 17, p. 18)? Oh yes, the selection of Richard Umbdenstock as the new AHA president, a man who exemplifies servant leadership; cares more about people and patients than many others who should know better; has instituted good, transparent governance practices through his writing and consulting in more hospitals than you can shake a stick at; and has the full support of the AHA board and senior AHA executives. I guess this is why the page is entitled "Opinions/Editorials."
Chief executive officer
Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital
Prairie du Sac, Wis.
Clarifying our position ...
Your article "More than just EHR chitchat?" does not accurately reflect the position of the Electronic Health Record Vendors Association or its contributions to the process of successfully creating a certification process for electronic health records (April 17, p. 8).
There has been no secrecy or impropriety in our activities. On the contrary, the EHRVA has provided valuable and open contributions to the certification process that have strengthened the ability of the market to support it. We have provided a highly relevant, value-based road map for achieving interoperable EHR systems that retains the innovation brought about by a competitive marketplace, inclusive of all sizes of business.
We invite you and your readers to review the significant and meaningful work products that the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology has published. Within these documents you will find many of the contributions of our association, characterized by CCHIT as "thoughtful and detailed recommendations."
We have also met the deadlines and maintained the transparency required by CCHIT. To support the very tight deadlines in this process, we participated in a series of discussions to support the public review process. In preparation for the April 3 meeting, the EHRVA prepared a letter recapitulating the issues and suggested remedies that our members had discussed in public meetings. Representatives from our organization, CCHIT, the American Health Information Management Association, the National Alliance for Health Information Technology and legal counsel met to expedite this feedback process. The letter and HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt's response were subsequently made available by EHRVA and CCHIT to a broad base of constituents and will be made public when CCHIT makes public all of the comments it received in this round.
We affirm our continuing commitment to working cooperatively, transparently and quickly to complete the EHR certification process.
Electronic Health Record Vendors Association
... vendors underhanded
As an employee at an organization that's been bamboozled by an electronic health-records vendor that didn't have the first clue about EHRs, I am appalled but not surprised at the underhanded approach of the Electronic Health Record Vendors Association.
Healthcare organizations and physicians are being faced with the reality of having to invest significant amounts of money in electronic systems in order to comply with the inevitable federal mandates coming down the pike. While there are exemplary EHR vendors, there are unscrupulous ones as well. The solo practitioner or rural physician and/or healthcare organization will be at the mercy of these vendors and will either sink or swim.
I sincerely hope that the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology continues to spearhead this project with the integrity it has shown thus far. Vendors should be given a choice without compromise: the current strict guidelines developed by CCHIT or stricter guidelines developed by the federal government. Their choice.
Information technology supervisor
Memphis (Tenn.) Internal Medicine
I appreciated your article on male chief nursing executives ("The new CNO," April 17, p. 24). I have been a nurse for 21 years; my last position was a chief nursing officer at an acute-care hospital in California. I am now at the corporate level.
I think the experiences of male nurses are dependent on their relationship with fellow RNs. I know that in my first job, I was the only male on my shift. When I was introduced to fellow staff, one nurse said, "Good, now we have someone to lift patients." I was continually called to prep males, catheterize them and put in suppositories throughout the hospital. One day I said, "Look, you're a nurse and I'm a nurse; you can do it." That was the end of the calls to other departments.
I joined the Air Force and was stationed at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. I was very worried how my kids would be treated because I was a nurse stationed on a base that trained pilots, which had meant that there was a large population of pilots or student pilots in officer housing. One day when I was outside of my house on the base, my 6-year-old son was playing with my neighbor's son. The other boy said, "My daddy's a pilot, what does your daddy do?" My son said, "He's a nurse." The kid said, "Your daddy can't be a nurse, he's a boy." My son replied, "There are girl pilots and girl doctors, aren't there?" The boy seemed OK with that and they started playing again, then my son stopped playing and looked at the boy and said, "I bet my daddy is a better nurse than your daddy is a pilot!"
After that day I quit worrying about what others thought about male nurses.
Senior director of clinical operations
Tenet Healthcare Corp.