I just received the following e-mail from Extormity:
Electronic health records vendor Extormity, dismayed at the ambitious scope of ARRA meaningful use criteria, is challenging National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal to a “rumble.”
“This call for physical confrontation is an extension of our ‘Whine into Water’ lobbying initiative, where we have joined with other large and inflexible EMR vendors to raise concerns about the difficulty of achieving meaningful use as currently defined,” said Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington. “If enough of us bellyache about these aggressive criteria, we are hoping they will be watered down such that meaningful use is effectively rendered meaningless.”
“However, in the event our campaign is unsuccessful, I would like to engage David Blumenthal in hand-to-hand combat at an upcoming HIT conference,” added Whittington. “Can you imagine what a mano y mano cage match would do for HIMSS attendance? I’m not proposing actual fisticuffs, rather, I suggest we thumb wrestle — best two out of three and the victor gets to set final meaningful use criteria.”
While other EMR vendors are refraining from public comment, an officer at another large HIT organization expressed tacit approval. Speaking on condition of anonymity, this executive was supportive of Extormity’s efforts. “Current criteria will reward nimble, flexible, innovative vendors who are focused on affordable, interoperable, web-based solutions designed to improve patient care. We question the audacity of the government in setting criteria designed to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs — this callous irresponsibility will punish those of us with expensive client-server solutions that require physicians to abandon established workflows as they implement our hard-to-use applications. The trickle down effect would have a disastrous impact on our economy — if our profits fall, our lavish executive bonuses will be eviscerated and we will have less to spend in the Hamptons.”
Asked if Mr. Blumenthal should be concerned about a potential threat to his physical safety, Whittington was nonplussed. “Since Extormity is a fictional organization developed as a parody of lumbering, expensive and ineffective EHR vendors, and I don’t actually exist, there is no actual hazard. With that said, I know jujitsu.”
I’m not aware of a response by Blumenthal.