Published February 27, 2018
The adoption of economic health records by doctors and hospitals has grown to 90% since the enactment of the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical (HITECH) Act 9 years ago. However, according to a new report, government regulations have not kept pace with technological advances. The report “The Future Role of Government in Health IT and Digital Health” was published by Health IT Now and the Bipartisan Policy Center along with 50 other clinicians, patients, hospitals, and technology companies.
A panel of individuals who contributed to this report gathered in Washington, D.C. on February 27 to discuss the implications of policy change as well as digital health companies’ obligations to patients’ safety and privacy. Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health IT, Department of Health and Human Services, described the time wasted by doctors on unnecessary paperwork and saw the growth of health IT as a way to alleviate that.
“A patient’s first concern is success,” said John Wylam, manager, National MS Society. “Health IT is a tool to that end. But patients need to know, will it help them feel better? Improve health outcomes?” He also said patients need reassurance that their personal information is being managed responsibly. The onus is on digital health companies to address those concerns, he added.
Other panelists included Jim Jirjis, chief health information officer, HCA Healthcare; Janet Marchibroda, director, Health Innovation Initiative Bipartisan Policy Center; Lucia Savage, chief privacy and regulatory officer, Omada Health; Steven Waldren, director, Alliance for eHealth Innovation at the American Academy of Family Physicians; Joel White, executive director, Health IT Now; and Stephanie Zaremba, director of government affairs, athenahealth.