Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Feds' Strategic Plan Boosts Electronic Health Records

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Feds' Strategic Plan Boosts Electronic Health Records

Article excerpt

If the feds have it their way, 40% of physician offices will be using certified electronic health records by 2012.

The goal is part of a strategic plan for coordinating the federal government's health IT efforts over the next 4 years, and seeks to further progress toward President Bush's goal, set out in 2004, that the majority of Americans to have access to an electronic health record (EHR) by 2014.

About 14% of physicians had adopted some form of health information technology (IT) by 2007, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which released the strategic plan. Specifically, the plan calls for removing business barriers and disincentives for adoption of EHRs and providing training and technical assistance. For example, the plan says that by next year information on low-cost and effective provider support on EHR adoption should be available online.

The plan also calls for increasing the health IT workforce by training more standards developers, ensuring vendors are trained in the implementation of health IT tools, and training physicians and other health care providers in informatics. It also highlights the need to address physician concerns about liability risks related to the exchange of electronic health information.

In addition to issues related to adoption, the plan lays out goals for achieving patient-focused health care through electronic health record access, and enabling the use of electronic health data to benefit public health, research, and emergency preparedness. …

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