Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced that doctors and hospitals will be provided with more time to meet meaningful use standards if they commit to implementing HIT this year.
“Technology is the foundation for improving America’s healthcare systems," says Joel White, executive director of the Health IT Now Coalition. "Enabling healthcare providers with access to the right information for the right person at the right time will move healthcare into the digital age, leaving the paper and pen system in the past.
“But in order to leverage the full benefits of health IT, we must ensure that standards for meaningful use are implemented sooner rather than later," White continues. "It is ironic the Administration announced the delay in more robust standards under the ‘We Can’t Wait’ initiative. Patients and consumers can’t wait for higher standards that can lead to better outcomes, higher quality care, improved safety, and lower costs. Taxpayers shouldn’t wait for improved standards that foster clinical information sharing between doctors to better coordinate care and lower costs in Medicare and Medicaid.
“Putting vital health histories at the fingertips of doctors and their patients will save money—but more importantly, it will save lives. HHS shouldn’t wait to adopt standards that improve our nation’s ability to improve health through health IT capabilities now,” White says.
Source: Health IT Now