Health IT a Team Effort between Government, Industry, Says Blumenthal

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davidPublic and private sectors have to join forces and work together on facilitating the adoption of health IT, making it a “team effort,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health IT.

“The whole point is to increase communication and coordination among the different players in the healthcare system,” Blumenthal wrote on Health IT Buzz. “You just can’t go it alone in this field.”

The good news is, Blumenthal said, when there is a solid plan and a worthy goal in place, many talented individuals want to join the team and contribute to the effort.

“The HITECH Act got the ball rolling,” he wrote. “But government can only take this so far by itself. To provide real momentum for the widespread adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records, the private sector has to be there to push it along.”

Now that the Department of Health and Human Services has announced final rules for meaningful use of electronic health records, there is a framework that will enable action by players in the private and public sectors, according to Blumenthal. Some of those players–payers,, providers and licensure bodies–announced their action plans at a recent meeting on Advancing EHR Adoption and Meaningful Use Exit Disclaimer sponsored by Health Affairs and Brandeis University’s Health Industry Forum.

“With the meaningful use goals as their framework, these representatives of the private sector are formulating a strategy for the transformation of healthcare in our country through the use of health IT,” Blumenthal noted. “These are indeed significant and encouraging first steps, occurring a mere three weeks after announcement of the final phase 1 meaningful use rules. We applaud their efforts and we look forward to more payers, providers, and others in both the public and private sectors joining the team to move together towards our common goal.”

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