Raising Legitimate Questions and Concerns About Health IT Certification, Without Getting Personal


In a recent blog post on THCB, Mark Leavitt wrote this about me:  “[Dr. Kibbe’s] repeated use of  falsehoods and innuendo to attack CCHIT have found an audience in the national media, reaching a level that can no longer be ignored.  By implication, he demeans the integrity of everyone who has contributed to that work – and I must rise to their defense.”

The truth is that I respect both Dr. Leavitt and, equally important, the many fine people who have contributed to CCHIT work.  I regret that he has made me the target of his anger about investigative reporting in the Washington Post, which I certainly did not initiate.

To clarify what I actually said, after a brief interview, quoted in the second of two articles in the Washington Post by Robert O’Harrow, Jr, a Pulitzer Prize finalist :

“One has to question whether or not a vendor-founded, -funded and -driven organization should have the exclusive right to determine what software will be bought by federal taxpayer dollars,” Kibbe said. “It’s important that the people who determine how this money is spent are disinterested and unbiased . . . Even the appearance of a conflict of interest could poison the whole process.”

Raising questions and concerns like these does not reach the level of “falsehoods and innuendo.”  In my opinion, it is entirely appropriate to ask tough questions about whose interests are being served when $36 Billion of tax payers’ money is involved, and the future of health IT in the U.S. will be the result of certification.”

I am not the only one with these concerns. Many other health care and health IT professionals have raised legitimate questions about CCHIT and its practices, its relationship with HIMSS, and yet to date these have not been resolved. A response that attacks me personally and labels me a liar is far from adequate, and so the questions will remain.

The stakes are too high to simply look the other way.

David C. Kibbe MD MBA is a Family Physician and Senior Advisor to the American Academy of Family Physicians who consults on healthcare professional and consumer technologies.

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