As Koppel explains, something ostensibly simple even, such as for example blood-pressure measurement, can get lost in translation because of the modifiers accompanying the numbers: standing, sitting, preinjection, labile, non-compliant. So imagine a common vocabulary for MRI reports or operative notes. Although market influence is indisputable, such an explanation conflicts with the impression I got from Judy Faulkner, ceo of EHR maker Epic Systems, who advocates for government-created standards. Whether other vendors are prepared to make their items interoperable, government often overrides industry’s financial passions to achieve a greater public good.So EHRs will be just as good as the product quality metrics they’re made to catch; technology can’t get over fundamental measurement challenges. We measure many things that have no worth to patients, while much of what patients do worth, including our interest, remains unmeasurable. Why, Wachter asks, perform we do nothing similar in health care? In a moving passage, Wachter speaks with a famous surgeon who once spent his evenings before surgery reading his notes on the next day’s patients.