The usability of the system is the probably most important factor in making an informed choice of which EHR to use for your practice. Most every bit of software says that it is easy to use, but how can you choose an EHR that is actually usable?
Health IT interest, adoption and use saw big strides in 2014. But debate surrounding federal health IT initiatives, regulation and the future of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT also grew over the last year.
In 2015, the 114th Congress is expected to address several health IT issues, including FDA oversight of certain health IT tools and telemedicine, Politico reports.
According to Politico, health IT issues that this year's Congress could tackle include:
Health consumers and health care providers live in parallel universes when it comes to health IT, a smart CMIO friend of mine recently told me. 2015 will be a year when consumers, patients and caregivers pressure providers to converge toward greater convenience, access, transparency and quality using health IT. This health IT forecast for 2015 focuses on the forces that could advance and slow that convergence.
On Thursday, Sens.
CMS announced Niall Brennan will become the agency's first chief data officer and will be responsible for overseeing efforts to improve data collection and transparency and leading the department's new Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 11/19).
The federal government continued to implement the HITECH Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, during the third quarter of 2014. As implementation of HITECH's programs begin to wind down, more than $25 billion in incentive payments have been made to providers to spur electronic health record adoption, and more than 90% of eligible hospitals and 75% eligible professionals have adopted and are using EHRs as a result.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT clarified that Karen DeSalvo will be "maintaining her leadership of" the agency while she serves as acting HHS assistant secretary for health, Modern Healthcare's "Vital Signs" reports (Conn, "Vital Signs," Modern Healthcare, 10/28).