Health IT, Policy

Cognitive dissonance in health IT, in one infographic and one tweet

ONC paints an awfully rosy picture of the current state of health IT, specifically in the area of consumer access. Small practices may beg to differ.

Health IT is great. Health IT is terrible.

We all can find evidence to support both statements. In fact, I did, just with a quick check of social media.

Thursday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which, among other things, is the nation’s No. 1 health IT cheerleader, shared a new infographic. It paints an awfully rosy picture of the current state of health IT, specifically in the area of consumer access.

Those are encouraging numbers, except that, as a New England Journal of Medicine article pointed out this month, view/download/transmit is not exactly consumer-friendly in its current form. Patients have to log into multiple portals, even from the same organization, and data liquidity remains a pipe dream in a lot of ways.

We also discussed this a bit in a MedHeads episode I hosted a week ago.

Then I saw this tweet from Wednesday:

My initial reaction was either the practice was struggling with ICD-10, which became mandatory Oct. 1, or that it was staging a passive-aggressive protest against Meaningful Use, which is not actually a mandate. Providers don’t have to participate in Meaningful Use, though they do face a penalty if they don’t meet the standards — but only if they participate in Medicare, which also is optional.

Cramer has since told me via Twitter that she believes the problem does stem from ICD-10. This goes against what I’ve heard and reported from a higher level that the transition to the new coding system was mostly smooth.

In any case, it does seem like we live in parallel universes of health IT.

Photo: Twitter user Elisabeth Cramer