During the company’s weekly conference call with its customers, OpenEMR HQ CEO Anthony Papillion stressed the need for records storage and data exchange between commercial EMR/EHR packages such as OpenEMR, VistA, and others:
“Customers are demanding choice. They’re not satisfied or accepting of companies who try to lock them in with proprietary formats that hold their data hostage”, Papillion said when asked why the company was making such a strong call for shared standards. Papillion also said he believes that closed standards and data lock-in are an affront to good customer service and scream of poor software quality:
“Would you buy a car that you knew nothing about and could find out nothing about how it worked? Of course not! But physicians make such huge decisions every single day on EHR products that they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on. If you have to hide the underlying workings of your product, then, one has to ask, what are you really hiding”?
Papillion cited how open standards in other industries like voting, manufacturing, and even airline design are actually helping vendors sell their product as they present their customers their products with pride and backed by what Papillion calls “the open source insurance policy” that guarantees that companies have to perform up to snuff or their customers can easily go elsewhere.
During her turn in the call, OpenEMR HQ’s Chief Stratagy Officer, Michelle Sundar, said the company will soon be reaching out to other vendors – both proprietary and open – to work together to establish a universal data storage standard.
The company also used the meeting to unveil their planned “Universal Health Statistics Network”, a network that will allow users of OpenEMR to tap into a nationwide health statistics network that will give them a greater understanding of developing health trends in their region or country.