Health IT Infrastructure Emphasized by FDA Chief

Thanks to Mark Kunik for this pointer: Commissioner for the FDA, Mark McClellan, MD, Ph.D emphasized health IT infrastructure in his speech
yesterday at the 3rd Annual Houston Area Health Services and Outcomes Research Conference. ‘…Information technologies are already boosting the efficiency in health care administration and billing. But the promise IT holds for improving the quality and safety of medical care is far from being realized. As Secretary Thompson recently observed, the level of information technology in some hospitals is higher in the cafeterias than on the patient floors. There are important reasons, why. Essentially, for many organizations it doesn’t make business sense, or simply isn’t feasible, to adopt up-to-date systems that can significantly improve health care quality and safety…These are some of the key barriers to a national health-information network, as we have found them: One of the major obstacles to creating high-quality health IT systems is the absence of standards… The question is will they specifically see Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) as a superior way to accomplish this or will they just repeat mistakes of the past?

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