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Dr. David Blumenthal: Success of HITECH Act "Inevitable"

Bob Herman -   Print  |
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David Blumenthal, MD, former head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, recently wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that the success of the HITECH Act and other health IT initiatives seem "inevitable, in part because its failure is unimaginable." The HITECH Act encompasses several components, including meaningful use of electronic health records, EHR certification, Regional Extension Centers for health IT, health information exchange implementation and more.

Dr. Blumenthal said the federal government still faces several challenges — such as interoperability within HIEs, privacy concerns around electronic health information and EHR usability — but the age of electronic information offers a wealth of improved and more efficient patient care.

"Perhaps the most convincing reason for the inevitability of the vision of the HITECH Act is that the next generation of clinicians, weaned on the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, the iPad and the iPhone, will insist that the United States find its way to an interoperable, private, secure, and modern electronic health information system," Dr. Blumenthal wrote.

Related Articles on the HITECH Act:

Federal Health IT Spending Expected to Jump to $6.5B by 2016

9 Steps for Healthcare Organizations to Choose the "Right" EHR

Physician Adoption of EHRs Jumps From 18% to 57%

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