Moving Health Care into the Digital Age: Unfinished Business

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<p>The modernization of health care received a boost in 2009, when Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The law set health IT standards and provided resources to help providers and hospitals adopt electronic health records and move away from the paper-based records, a system rife with waste and the potential for medical errors. </p><p>In a <em>New England Journal of Medicine </em>“Perspective<em>,</em>”<em> </em>four former heads of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, including Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., discuss the progress made in implementing health IT solutions and identify the significant challenges remaining. Among the changes they propose are establishing national standards for connecting electronic health records with other health technologies, encouraging market innovations that will forge the way to a more complete patient record, and increasing access to health data.</p>
<p>“[T]here is still work to be done to ensure that patients and families, researchers, and clinicians have access to the information they need,” the authors say. </p> Read more