As Dr. Farzad Mostashari slowly heads to the exit door this fall, it’s worth remembering some of the ways the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT successfully promoted electronic medical record adoption and the blue button initiative. He invoked a sense of urgency with personal accounts of family member experiences with medical errors like missing medical information that causes unnecessary complications that could be helped with health IT.
He has drawn attention to the need for better patient protocols like alerts or reminders, by recounting his mother’s experience in the hospital. She experienced bleeding complications from knee surgery because there was no protocol to check whether she had stopped taking her aspirin regimen seven days before the surgery. She only remembered the day before surgery but the operation was still carried out. Some way to confirm these critical details through a patient portal or electronic health record could make a difference.
A reporter from Government Health IT neatly summed up 10 ways Mostashari promoted health IT adoption with some of his more memorable quotes. Here are three of them.
“We’ve made more progress with EHRs in the past 2 years then we have in 20.”
Mostashari has made great use of Twitter to share his perspective on electronic health record adoption, including this post at HIMSS 2012. The HITECH Act gave healthcare facilities financial incentives to adopt electronic health records and that’s led to wider adoption in a relatively short period of time.
“We’re on the right track to make meaningful use of meaningful use.”
But Mostashari also made clear that fulfilling meaningful use requirements was more than just checking boxes. He outlined the big picture goals of meaningful use at that HIMSS conference beyond storing and sharing patient data: improving quality of care, patient engagement and reducing healthcare costs.
“Sometimes regulations don’t stifle innovation.”
He argued that a balance can be found between allowing the space for innovation in the health IT sector, but also ensuring an adequate regulatory structure to keep stakeholders on track and moving forward, according to the article. I’m often amazed by some of the approaches hospitals, payers, health IT vendors, pharmaceutical, medical device companies, startups and combinations of both are taking to improve patient outcomes and patient engagement.
[Photo credit: BigStock Photo]