Our new president promised to get things moving, and he is keeping true to his word. Just nine days after the Presidential Inauguration, the House has already voted to pass Obama’s $819 billion economic stimulus plan.
Health care reform plays a big part in the plan, and Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) policy planning is given a greater priority than ever before. In January, the
Many are cheering Obama’s call for the better use of technology to improve health care and lower costs. At the same time, many are calling for standards for HIT— things need to be done thoughtfully and with the big picture in mind to ensure that if HIT is going to usher in sweeping change, that change will be productive and effective.
Getting universal agreement about exactly how HIT is going to transform health care and what the final product will look like is impossible. But one thing that should remain an important consideration in the minds of decision makers in the health care industry is to make sure the public has a “buy-in” to the new face of health care. Consumers and providers need to be kept in the loop, aware of how HIT can impact and improve the delivery of health care, and they should also have some input into how the final product will appear. Finding ways to continue the grassroots efforts by keeping the industry connected to the consumer and enable a positive flow of communication and exchange of ideas will take on a greater importance than ever as the industry seeks to transform itself through the implementation of HIT.