SPOTLIGHT: Cable companies could help providers adopt EHR

Now that HHS has finally defined "meaningful use," we all can expect a push for adoption. Or can we? Blogger and HIT consultant Joseph Ingemi has his doubts. He believes coordinators are needed to provide planning and implementation guidance to providers in an unbiased way, just as Ingemi saw when he was a project manager for the first phase of the Nationwide Health Information Network. "So who should sponsor these coordinators? Providers won't want to pay for these services. Medicare and Medicaid are going through a lot of churn with healthcare reform and the stimulus. Plus, their sponsorship may lead to accusations of 'government takeover' of healthcare," Ingemi writes. His answer? Cable companies. "It's a natural fit. Cable companies or any telecommunication company offering non-wireless access would have a lot to gain from EHR. Health IT creates an increased demand for secure bandwidth. Thus, as more providers adopt EHR, the market for cable companies' services will grow." Hospital Impact