Health IT adoption is gaining steam, but many have been unable to articulate the value of EMRs within their organizations and, significantly, to the public, a new report suggests. Still, people are optimistic about the future, but worry that the transition to ICD-10 coding and HIPAA 5010 transactions could slow momentum.
The "National Progress Report on eHealth," supported by the Commonwealth Fund and released by the broad-based, nonprofit eHealth Initiative, is an update on a 2007 study meant to identify trends that have emerged since passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. For the report, the eHealth Initiative surveyed more than 100 healthcare professionals in each of five focus areas: aligning incentives; engaging consumers; improving population health; managing privacy, security & confidentiality; and transforming care delivery.
"Contributors to the report found that, while considerable progress has been made over the past three years, challenges remain," eHI CEO Jennifer Covich Bordenick says in a press release. "Coordinating public- and private-sector efforts, and communicating the true value of HIT and HIE to consumers will be critical as we move forward."
Specifically, 61 percent of respondents said "significant" progress has been made in EMR and HIT adoption since 2007, but 55 percent disagreed with the statement that the value of health IT is clearly understood. In fact, two-thirds said that efforts to educate the public about EMRs and health information exchange have been ineffective, though nearly as many thought Regional Extension Centers and the related National Health Information Technology Research Center would be important to educating providers about the value of health IT.