Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Farewell, Santa Barbara

For those who don't follow this stuff, last week marked the official demise of the Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange (their website is already down -- there's some background here). The Santa Barbara project was a pioneering effort launched by (among others) David Brailer, the first and former head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

The project struggled for many years with a variety of issues, but never did go live. After 8 years and over $10 million, the project leaders finally called it quits. A report in Government Health IT cites legal and technical costs associated with privacy protection as the final straw (see Privacy, funding doubts shutter Calif. RHIO). In a presentation given to the eHI Connecting Communities coalition (subscription only), one of the project's leaders emphasized that technology was not the issue, and that lack of a detailed and viable business plan undermined the project's long-term prospects.

I think there will be many lessons and cautionary tales coming out of this pioneering effort -- they'll probably dribble out over time. Sad to say but this could be the first of many "RHIOs" that throw in the towel for lack of a real business model.

1 comment:

The Critical patient said...

Do you have any insights into why this RHIO crashed?