In January, 22 million households in England will begin receiving flyers in the mail explaining a new program that will mine their anonymized health record data. Data extraction will begin shortly after. The program, called care.data, hopes to link information from general practioners and hospitals, and use the resulting trove of health data to improve the safety and care of patients, as well as identify problems in the hospital system and lower the cost of care.
As the Health and Human Services Department builds out the rules for health care providers to meaningfully use electronic health records, it's made much progress but it cannot take its foot off the gas, said Dr. Farzad Mostashari Sept. 4 during his final address to the health information technology policy committee.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a new eHealth Imitative, headed by Robert Tagalicod, director of the office of e-Health Standards and Services. The initiative's goal is to align health IT efforts and standards program with a focus that goes beyond the electronic health record incentive program.
"We have been, I think, strong supporters of making available data sets as part of meaningful use, part of our certification products and others available, and working with the developer community to make good use of the open data," said Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari during a July 17 Senate Finance Committee hearing.
More than half of the nation's eligible healthcare professionals and 80 percent of hospitals received incentive payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for adoption and Meaningful Use of certified electronic health record technology to improve patient care, finds a new report.
An interagency group tasked with drafting a strategy and recommendations for health information technology regulation by January 2014 need assistance crafting policy for mobile medical applications.
The president's fiscal 2014 budget proposal requests $78 million for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The increase in funding is in part because ONCHIT funding under the Recovery Act ends in fiscal 2013, says the Health and Human Services Department's budget in brief (.pdf).
Health data standards development and existing federal incentives for electronic health record adoption won't bring about the widespread electronic sharing of individual medical data among care providers, say the federal organizations charged with administering those incentive programs and developing health information technology standards.
During a webinar hosted by the National eHealth Collaborative, officials drew attention to a Jan. 6 draft Blue Button implementation guide outlining how providers can securely transmit patient data and do so in a semi-structured manner. The pell-mell quality of Blue Button-downloaded data has long been recognized as a downfall of the effort, which began in the Veterans Affairs Department as a means to permit patients to have an electronic receipt of care received.
Lack of awareness and the need for additional innovation are among the barriers preventing the widespread use of electronic health-related tools among consumers, according to a new report (.pdf) from the Bipartisan Policy Center. The report also finds that the adoption of electronic tools among clinicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers is not widespread, despite their reducing costs and improving the quality and experience of care for patients.