Mostashari to HIT Policy Committee: Celebrate the progress

At a meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee on Tuesday, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari urged members to step back and appreciate the "broad sweep" of change in which they've taken part.

The July 9 meeting was the committee's 50th and it also marked Mostashari's fourth year in government service, notes HealthcareITNews.

Four years ago, Mostashari pointed out, 90 percent of hospital patient records, 80 percent of physicians' patient records and 93 percent of prescriptions were written on paper.

In 2012, 44 percent of U.S. hospitals had at least a basic EHR system in place, up 17 percent from 2011 and nearly triple from 2010, when the Meaningful Use Incentive program was launched, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's annual report. Among physicians, 38.2 percent reported using a basic EHR.

In addition, more than 38,000 physicians (69 percent) used e-prescribing in 2012 and 44 percent of prescriptions were written electronically, according to Surescripts' National Progress Report and Safe-Rx Rankings.

"It's remarkable to look back at where we were four years ago and take stock, measured through these meetings, how far we have come and what the complexity of the policy issues that we've had to consider as we reach toward our goals--and to hold those goals to better health, better care and lower costs firmly in mind," Mostashari told the committee.

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