Friday, January 25, 2008

Good News

Mike Leavitt, the head of HHS announced the privatization of the AHIC group. He also announced the steady increase in the number of EMR vendors who are complying with, and becoming certified by CCHIT. This is no small accomplishment because it requires a substantial fee, for the smaller vendors. According to Leavitt about 75% of EMR vendors are now CCHIT certified.
  • We’ve established an infrastructure to drive our work on the ground in the form of work groups and nonprofit organizations.
  • Together, we’ve harmonized dozens of standards.  As of today, I’ve officially recognized 34 interoperability standards that lay a foundation for standards-based health information exchange.  This is not work we’ve done alone.  We’ve had the help of thousands of volunteers participate with HITSP [Health Information Technology Standards Panel] to help get us to this point.
  • We have grown our number of Use Cases from which more standards will flow. We had three in 2006, four in 2007, and six for 2008, which shows that we are accelerating..
  • To date, C-C-H-I-T has certified roughly 75 percent of the outpatient EHR products being used by doctors today. They have also certified more than a third of the vendors with C-P-O-E (Computerized Physician Order Entry) products for use in the inpatient setting.  In fact, just today, CCHIT is announcing its latest group of certified inpatient EHRs.
  • We have also launched trial implementations for the Nationwide Health Information Network to demonstrate possible configurations for secure interoperability.

To move this work even faster, HHS has put the considerable weight of Medicare behind it.

  • In October, we announced a new Medicare demonstration program that will incent providers in small to mid-sized physician practices to adopt interoperable EHRs.  We recognized that was the group we needed to build momentum. We’re going to pay them more if they can use certified EHRs to deliver high-quality care to patients.  By involving up to 1,200 of these providers in the demo, we expect to see 3.6 million Americans receive better care."
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