Information technology is a pivotal part of transforming our health care system, Secretary Leavitt said. We are at a critical juncture. Working in close collaboration, the federal government and private sector can drive changes that will lead to fewer medical errors, lower costs, less hassle and better care. The report can be found “here”:http://www.hhs.gov/healthit/HITFinalReport.pdf
My quick read doesn’t reveal any earth-shattering news. The gist of the report is around these three key imperatives:
1. Widespread adoption of interoperable health IT should be a top priority for the U.S. health care system.
2. The federal government should use its leverage as the nation’s largest health care payer and provider to drive adoption of health IT.
3. Private sector purchasers and health care organizations can and should collaborate alongside the federal government to drive adoption of health IT.
The panel also reached six conclusions to guide health IT adoption by the federal government and private sector.
1. Potential benefits of health IT far outweigh manageable costs.
2. Health IT needs a clear, broadly motivating vision and practical adoption strategy.
3. The federal government should provide leadership, and industry will engage and follow.
4. Lessons of adoption and success of IT in other industries should inform and enhance adoption of health IT.
5. Stakeholder incentives must be aligned to foster health IT adoption.
6. Among its multiple stakeholders, the consumer, including individual beneficiaries, patients, family members and the public-at-large is key to adoption of health IT and realizing its benefits.
I really find these six conclusions to be quite vague at this point. However, I am encouraged that the conclusions include a need to constantly evaluate the benefits and costs associated with HIT implementation. If this research is managed in an open and rigorours manner it will soon be obvious what works and what doesn’t regarding software licensing and deployment options.