3 Ways the Feds are Hoping to Increase Healthcare IT Use
In our previous post on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020” we laid out the basics of the report and what it could mean for the future of healthcare IT. This time around, we’re going to focus on the number one goal listed in the plan: Expand the adoption of health IT.
Taking into consideration the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use regulations, getting healthcare providers to upgrade their technology has clearly been a high priority of the Feds for a while now. Even though they’ve gotten the ball rolling, the plan is to go even further in the coming years.
What the Feds are targeting
When we’re talking about expanding the usage of healthcare IT, the government has three focal points in mind and they are:
1) Increase the adoption and effective use of health IT products, systems, and services
The report points out that while HITECH has done wonders for increasing technology usage (EHRs, etc.) among hospitals and physicians, the results haven’t quite been there in other areas. Across the board increases are the goal, but extra attention will be paid to providers practicing in long-term services and supports which tend to lag behind others with tech advances. To catch up these groups, the Feds will leverage federal payment policies, contracts, and public and private programs. The government will also encourage providers to adopt telehealth and mobile technologies.
2) Increase user and market confidence in the safety and safe use of health IT products, systems, and services
There’s no doubt that one of the biggest speed bumps currently slowing down healthcare providers from rushing to increase reliance on IT is security. There’s so much sensitive patient data involved that a healthcare IT solution has to be airtight – and that level of confidence isn’t always there. As part of their effort to change minds, the Feds will begin better mapping the hazards healthcare organizations face with IT design and use and integrate more evidence on safe use of health IT into health IT certification.
3) Advance a national communications infrastructure that supports health, safety, and care delivery
For some organizations, the issue of adoption doesn’t come down to whether they want to or not, it’s whether they can. Some areas just don’t have the technological infrastructure needed to support the ability to utilize telehealth or even high-speed network connections. To remedy this, the government will be looking to expand high-speed networking capabilities and ensure the reliability of the infrastructure which supports health IT.
The overall plan is up for discussion until February, however if the government follows through with it, it’s definitely in an organization’s best interest to take advantage of those high-level changes and new initiatives. Having a solutions-provider like Arraya in your corner can help your organization find the IT tools you need to realize the goals you’ve set. To find out more about Arraya’s healthcare solutions, visit http://go.arrayasolutions.com/healthcare.html or speak with your Arraya Account Executive. Follow Arraya on Twitter @ArrayaSolutions