Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Transforming the Delivery System

As Farzad Mostashari M.D., National Coordinator for HIT commented “The payment system, care coordination, consumer engagement along with health IT is needed to effectively deliver healthcare.” He voiced his thoughts at the “National Health IT & Delivery System Transformation Summit” held in Washington D.C on June 27, 2011.

He reports that the Beacon Communities Program is going to achieve remarkable goals in all of the communities involved. The program provides funds to help communities build and strengthen health IT and importantly, demonstrates a future where hospitals, clinicians and patients will become meaningful users of health IT.

The communities will be able to achieve measurable improvements in healthcare quality, safety, efficiency, and population health. The Beacons have enabled the Federal agencies to come together with state and local levels to coordinate and gain inspiration from the program.

The Beacon program uses the guidelines included in the “National Quality Strategy” requiring HHS to establish ways to make care safer. This is particularly true when dealing with cardiovascular disease one of the leading causes of mortality.

Creating an electronic infrastructure to support meaningful use along with establishing patient-centered care are the goals for HHS. The use of technology will help both physicians and patients by generating useful safety alerts, providing information on treatment alternatives, after visit summaries, reminders, outcomes, assessments of the patient’s qualify of care, develop registries, provide patient access to medical records and progress notes, along with state-of-the-art data collection. Providing this information will enhance total performance and cost effectiveness.

Mostashari reports that meaningful use Stage 2 final rules should be released by next year. The HIT Policy Committee made their views known in early June and he indicates that their ideas and recommendations are under consideration.

Mostashari sees health IT hitting real growth in the future both for primary care providers and hospitals. For example, only 20 percent of primary care physicians in 2009 adopted EHRs, and in 2010 the figure was only 30 percent. However, more and more providers each month are taking advantage of the Regional Education Centers and becoming meaningful users of the technology. Although Mostashari acknowledges that there are challenges ahead, he forecasts the outlook for the next year or two to be 50 percent adoption.

Go to for more details on the Summit.