A coalition of mental health professionals and advocates has asked Congress to approve financial incentives to help mental health providers adopt electronic health records, but some professionals have raised privacy concerns about the use of EHRs among such providers, Kaiser Health News/Washington Post reports.
In a Health Affairs blog post, a group of Republican senators write, "There is inconclusive evidence that the [HITECH ACT] has achieved its goals of increasing efficiency, reducing costs and improving the quality of care."
On April 27, 2004, President George W. Bush proclaimed a bold goal for the nation: "Within the next 10 years, electronic health records will ensure that complete health care information is available for most Americans at the time and place of care, no matter where it originates. ... These electronic health records will be designed to share information privately and securely among and between health care providers when authorized by the patient."
More than 10 years later, most observers within the U.S. health care system and the health IT industry would agree that this goal of interoperability has not yet been achieved, and may not even be within clear sight. Although pockets of interoperability exist, the EHR systems used by inpatient, outpatient and ancillary providers generally cannot exchange patient data electronically, sometimes even among systems developed by the same EHR vendors. Although myriad interoperability standards exist on paper, real world connectivity between individual EHR systems still requires extensive custom interface development, attended by large and often prohibitive costs.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced this morning an important Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) funding opportunity, which is part of a Department-wide effort to achieve the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information to improve health and transform care as outlined in the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0.
ONC is accepting public comments on Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Draft Version 1.0 (link is external). The comment period ends at 5 p.m. on April 3, 2015.
The draft Roadmap (link is external) proposes critical actions that need to be taken by both private and public stakeholders to advance the nation towards a more connected, interoperable health IT infrastructure and was drafted by ONC based on input from private and public stakeholders. The draft Roadmap (link is external) outlines the critical actions for different stakeholder groups necessary to help achieve an interoperable health IT ecosystem.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0. The draft Roadmap is a proposal to deliver better care and result in healthier people through the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information.
by Anantachai (Tony) Panjamapirom, January 8, 2015
The industry news is full of disparaging talk about the health of the EHR Incentive Programs (i.e., meaningful use), particularly the low number of Stage 2 attestations. While some statistics show that only 35% of the nation's hospitals have met Stage 2 meaningful use requirements, further analysis reveals a different story.
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?
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).
Health IT stakeholders appear split on how former National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo's departure will affect future health IT initiatives, FierceHealthIT reports (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 10/24).
A coalition of health care organizations sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell recommending that the agency overhaul the meaningful use program with a focus on interoperability, Healthcare IT News reports.
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