ONC

Mental Health Professionals Debate Use of EHRs, Incentives

Psychology computer key

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.

Senators Question HITECH Act's Effect on Care Quality, Costs

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."

ONC: 15% of Stage 2-Eligible Professionals Attest to Meaningful Use

Just 15% of meaningful use Stage 2-eligible professionals have attested to the program's requirements, according to the latest data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Becker's Health IT & CIO Review reports (Jayanthi, Becker's Health IT & CIO Review, 2/4).

Interoperability: Failure To Launch

Failure to Launch

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. 

HHS and ONC invest $28 Million in Health Information Exchange Grants

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.

Uncle Sam and Cousin Karen (DeSalvo) want your Interoperability Roadmap Public Comments

Uncle Sam and Karen DeSalvo

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.

ONC issues draft nationwide health IT Interoperability Roadmap; Implementation resources also released as first deliverable

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.

Doctors Raise Concerns About EHR Certification, Call for Changes

A coalition of 35 medical societies led by the American Medical Association sent a letter to National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo calling for major changes to the meaningful use electronic health record certification program, The Hill reports.

Many Say Meaningful Use Stage 2 Is Disastrous, but the Data Say Otherwise

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.

How to choose a usable EHR

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?

ONC Releases Draft Test Scenario To Gauge EHR Systems' Usability

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released the first draft test scenario for assessing the real-world usability of electronic health record systems under Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Modern Healthcare reports.

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