From Meaningful Use to ICD-10, CPOE and discussions of the most effective method for health information exchange, there are enough initiatives happening in healthcare IT at once to make one’s head spin. Although every initiative in the health IT space is worthy of attention, it is not realistic for health care providers and IT departments to respond to every program simultaneously; there must be some prioritization involved.
Therefore, health IT professionals must strike a balance, consider benefits and disadvantages of each program, and plan for the initiatives that will be the most complementary of their organizations’ goals, resources and support.
Last month, we asked our readers which initiative(s) they found to be the most promising, given the current state of health IT industry. Our readers responded:
What do you think is the most promising initiative in health IT?
It’s not surprising that Meaningful Use was considered the most promising initiative identified by the poll. Since Meaningful Use began distributing incentive payments in the beginning of 2011, the program has been at the top of mind for many hospitals, clinics and imaging facilities looking to benefit from the program’s investment. Similarly, HIE implementation was a close runner-up to the Meaningful Use program. Both the HIE and Meaningful Use initiatives encourage application use and support a data-centric mindset.
Since both programs have gained popularity by major news outlets throughout the last year, there has been a noteworthy amount of comparison between these two programs and how they may, in fact, support the goals of one another. Meaningful Use is dedicated to application adoption on a small scale, that of hospitals and other health care facilities, while HIEs are regionally focused on sharing data between the federally supported “meaningful users.”
In a recent blog post by “geek doctor” John D. Halamka, John made a noteworthy observation that HIE and Meaningful Use have become commonplace topics of discussion in the healthcare space. Because of their perceived popularity, the results collected from our poll may not reflect the feasibility of the initiatives. Nonetheless, these attitudes could reasonably lend to the public’s confidence in these programs, and subsequently, their long-term success.
According to the poll, less than 50% of respondents believed that personal health records (PHRs), computerized physician order entry (CPOE), ICD-10 and accountable care organizations (ACOs) were promising initiatives. Considering the amount of attention and energy invested in the Meaningful Use and HIE initiatives, these minor programs could have the potential to be satisfied as a by-product of the initial programs’ implementation. Otherwise, they will direct attention following the larger programs’ implementation,
As time continues, personal health and collective health care may merit greater attention as they become an increasing priority for patients and providers alike. Like Meaningful Use and HIE discussions, their popularity among major news networks may fuel greater attention to these areas, and subsequently, their wide-spread use.
Is there a health IT initiative you believe is particularly worthy of attention?