Comments Coming in on Fed I.T. Plan

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Since releasing the "Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2011-2015" on March 25, the Office of the National Coordinator has posted 24 industry comments. Here are three samples:

1. "One concern is that ONC may not have done an extensive enough review of available standards for vocabularies used in data exchange. For example, SNOMED, while comprehensive, is often convoluted and difficult to map to, particularly for use at the point of care. To date, it has also been difficult to determine how to consult or give input to ONC on available standards for vocabularies for data exchange, specifically those that are in widely adopted by EMR systems (both in the public and commercial arenas) already, but not 'accepted' for exchange by ONC."

2. "I feel a bit like I am entering the Lion's Den here as I am much less excited than Dr. Blumenthal about all this. I feel rather like I am about to be told to eat my spinach whether I like it or not. The push for EMR is laudable and there are many advantages that it offers, but the bottom line is that for the majority of small offices the software just isn't there. I have looked at several EMR programs including the highest rated for my office size and they are consistently expensive, feature a huge learning curve, have questionable support and in the end will slow me down. I am being asked to assume both a financial and productivity cost for very questionable gains. Is it the position of the ONC that productivity and affordability be sacrificed for the greater good? The push for technology is being mandated before the technology exists, and the practicing physicians and providers on the front lines are woefully under-represented in its implementation."

3. "EMR must be able to download into a personal health record in order to build accountable consumers. Patients should not have to download each record, simply give access. This is a part of the accountable care continuum that will drive health value rapidly and put the power of health improvement into the hands of consumers. There will be fractured care and fractured responsibility until we build the culture of health within and around the individual."

To access the strategic plan, click here. For more comments, click here.

--Joseph Goedert


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