Reider likens ONC certification to getting a car "smogged" to ensure that emissions are below a set level. "At the end of that analysis, the machine says 'yes, this passes,'" he says. "But it's not testing whether the windows go up and down properly. It's not testing whether the seats go backwards and forwards, or whether the radio works perfectly."
Some critics say ONC should test the software more than it does. Some say it should test less. "We're in the middle of that," Reider says.
It's also true that healthcare providers are caught in the middle, in this most difficult of years, squeezed by the golden handcuffs of incentive programs now entering the penalty phase, squeezed by vendors distracted from eliminating bugs in their software by the need to choose partners in elaborate jockeying to appear to be more interoperable than the next company.
Let's hope the next HIMSS conference doesn't leave us with quite so much confusion and uncertainty.