David Blumenthal, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology, recently said federal officials have heard the concerns of the proposed meaningful use rule "loud and clear." But in a June 14 blog entry on ONC's Health IT Buzz page, Blumenthal's tone does not sound hopeful to those who advocate streamlined meaningful use criteria. Here's his argument:

"Introducing change in health care is never easy. Historically, adopting our most fundamental medical technologies, from the stethoscope to the x-ray, were met with significant doubt and opposition. So it comes as no surprise that in the face of change as transformational as the adoption of health IT - even though it carries the promise of vastly improving the nation's health care - some hospitals and providers push back. I resisted using EHRs while an internist in Boston, as I wrote in my blog, 'Why Be a Meaningful User.' Over time, however, I found that working with health IT made me a better and safer physician. Most importantly, my patients received better, safer care and improved outcomes.

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