At the federal Health IT Policy Committee meeting on April 13--the first public meeting headed by Farzad Mostashari, MD, since he was named the new national coordinator for health IT last week--Mostashari noted that the "stars are aligned" between health IT efforts and a national focus on improving quality, safety, efficiency, and care coordination.
"This creates an opportunity for health delivery system transformation that is unprecedented," Mostashari added. "I am not [previous national coordinator] David Blumenthal, but I will do my best to continue the approach to policymaking that is inclusive, open, and transparent," he said at the meeting, reports Healthcare Informatics.
Among those areas expected to get high interest are electronic health records (EHRs). At the meeting, Mostashari said he wants to "double down" on efforts by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) to smooth the path for healthcare providers in adopting EHRs and to put patients front and center in its programs and message, reports Government Health IT.
Attention also will have to be directed at the expected explosion of consumer e-health tools and products related to the wider use of health IT by providers. While these are not new directions, the ONC is expected to give them greater emphasis as providers embark on the journey of instituting EHRs and performing the measures to meet Meaningful Use, Mostashari said.
Government Health IT reports that Mostashari said that he knows "just how incredibly hard this work is" from personal experience to implement EHRs in small doctors' offices in underserved communities and in health centers and hospitals. "We are going to need to execute and continually improve in terms of the implementation of our programs."