IT mea­sures part of mix

Va­ri­ety of mea­sures try to lever­age tech­nol­ogy

Modern Healthcare - - Editorial -

Like pixie dust sprin­kled on the health­care in­dus­try’s woes, ref­er­ences to health­care in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy are found scat­tered through­out the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, the health­care re­form leg­is­la­tion that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama signed into law last week.

In fact, the key­words “in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy” were men­tioned 44 times in the 906-page law. It is also laced with ad­di­tional ref­er­ences to EHRs and IT stan­dards.

Mered­ith Tay­lor, di­rec­tor of con­gres­sional af­fairs with the Chicago-based Health­care In­for­ma­tion and Man­age­ment Sys­tems So­ci­ety, said she does not think Congress is re­ly­ing too heav­ily on health IT as the solve- all sol­vent for the health­care in­dus­try’s clin­i­cal and ad­min­is­tra­tive grease spots.

“I think it’s im­por­tant how health IT is ad­dressed,” Tay­lor said. “It’s a tool in the process. When they’re talk­ing about ac­tiv­i­ties that providers need to do, they note health IT as one of many tools. In some grants that are pro­vided for some pi­lot pro­grams, it says that some ap­pli­cants that use IT will be given pri­or­ity con­sid­er­a­tion if they use EHRs. It’s def­i­nitely a piece of the puz­zle.”

Tay­lor said HIMSS hopes to pub­lish an item­ized anal­y­sis of the IT pro­vi­sions in the mas­sive leg­is­la­tion within a few days.

Tay­lor’s HIMSS col­league, Eli­nore Boeke,

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