Vision for HIT evolution outlined in IOM workshops report

To successfully shape the future of healthcare, a vision of how healthcare information technology should evolve--combined with ways to successfully engage patients and the population--should be considered, according to experts participating in a series of three workshops sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the National Coordinator for Health IT last summer and fall. 

A summary of the workshops' findings and suggestions has been compiled in a new IOM report, "Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care," which was released in late December. 

From the outset of the discussions, many of the participants pointed out that the major barriers to technical progress often were found in the social and cultural areas. To address this, methods should be found for reorienting and engaging patients more directly in the collection and use of information in a way that is most useful to them, they suggested.

In another approach toward the creation of a digital infrastructure, an "ultra-large-scale system" was suggested by some as a way to standardize elements to improve healthcare, such as requirements for health information exchanges. At the same time, though, institutions should maintain the flexibility to come up with their own innovations, while encouraging the learning process.

For more details:
- here's the Institute of Medicine's prepublication version of the report

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