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H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Friday, May 31, 2013

The US Is Still Steaming Along With E-Health initiatives. Real Progress It Seems.

The following appeared a little while ago
Monday, May 06, 2013

Federal Health IT Activity Continues in Q1 2013

by Helen R. Pfister, Susan R. Ingargiola and Christine D. Chang, Manatt Health Solutions
The federal government continued to implement the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, during the first quarter of 2013.
The first quarter of 2013 saw a number of important developments:
  • CMS Releases Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Request for Information. On March 7, CMS released a request for information on ways to accelerate electronic health information exchange within the health care industry. The RFI seeks input on potential policy and programmatic changes to further advance interoperable HIE beyond what is currently being done through the Office of the National Coordinator and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. Comments are due April 22.
  • ONC Announces Consumer Engagement Plan. In February, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT published a perspective piece in Health Affairs, titled, "A National Action Plan to Support Consumer Engagement Via E-Health." In the piece, ONC reviewed current consumer e-health activity and described the federal strategy to increase consumer e-health, including leveraging meaningful use objectives. In March, ONC requested public feedback on its consumer e-health strategy.  Members of the public may submit feedback through May 9.
  • CMS Launches eHealth Initiative. At the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference, CMS announced its eHealth Initiative, which will organize CMS' health IT programs under one initiative. The Initiative is designed to help health care providers simplify their administrative and billing responsibilities by unifying CMS' electronic standards and health IT programs. Moving forward in the next few months, CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services will work with health care providers to identify ways to meet the challenges that providers face when participating in CMS' various e-health programs. Also at HIMSS, acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced CMS' meaningful use goals for 2013 and stated that the notice of proposed rulemaking for meaningful use Stage 3 will not be issued during 2013.
Lots more details here:
The full article is well worth a read to see just how much is going on in the US.


Tom Bowden said...

While the US is distinctly disadvantaged by the structure and overall state of its health system, it is nevertheless making intelligent and energetic moves to employ e-Health to take its overall healthcare and e-health strategies forward.

By engaging in widespread dialogue and consultation and then moving ahead with pragmatic steps to stimulate connectivity and establish and agreed set of rules of the road, the US is engaging the e-health community rather than trying to get 'the smartest people in the room' to do it for them.

Widespread engagement and involvement in a broad front of initiatives grouped around a coherent, readily understood and ambitious yet realistic strategy is the way to make meaningful progress. This is the general approach taken in Denmark, Holland, New Zealand and of recent times, even in the UK, all countries that have enjoyed some success with e-health.

As we well know, not every initiative works as intended. At least by engaging with the grass roots e-health community, some are likely to work and lessons will be learned that can steadily drive the agenda forward.

Noteworthy too is the US' focus on distributed rather than centralised initiatives; evolution not revolution.

It would be nice to see similar approaches in this part of the world.

Anonymous said...

It probably does sound good, but I suspect they are also wasting a lot of money as I see a lot of flash powerpoints and chest puffing out but I suspect they are feeding the same hopeless consultancies as we are for similar levels of return on investment. There is a lot of $$ on offer and there methods are undoubtedly better thought out but are unrealistic and there is a lot of pigs at the trough there as well. I think poring big $$ at the problem is the wrong approach and good IT needs a small number of bright dedicated experienced players rather than the hungry hoards who smell $$$. The best way to make a failing project fail for sure is to throw more developers at it and insist on short delivery periods. Good things take time. With all this cash around sorting the wheat from the chaff is quite difficult.