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Cerner and McKesson’s CommonWell agreement has IT precedent

A reader shares some past examples of interoperability in IT and offers his thoughts on Cerner and McKesson’s CommonWell announcement.

Editor's note: received this feedback in response to the article, Cerner, McKesson reveal CommonWell patient data interoperability deal. The letter has been edited for style but not for content.

That is a very interesting article, so too are the happenings at HIMSS. I'm new to the healthcare industry but have accumulated decades in the IT arena. Some historical examples of interoperability come to us from the early years of [universal product code] UPC development as well as [electronic data interchange] EDI standards. In both those cases, a large commercial vendor played the role of catalyst and proved successful in pushing for standards. History tends to repeat itself. 

Epic has been leading this charge for the past several years. This, of course, leads me to believe the main motivation behind CommonWell is reactionary, performed by vendors who have fallen asleep at the wheel. Note that I didn't attend HIMSS this year because I plan to attend [Epic’s User Group Meeting] UGM in the fall in Madison, WI. That's where the industry is evolving, for now.

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