The proposal for widespread adoption of Electronic Medical Records standards could accelerate the disbursement of $19 billion in federal stimulus funds.
In a move to streamline medical records, Medicare officials have detailed plans to standardize medical files so they can be stored and delivered in comprehensive electronic files.
Announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the proposed standards are aimed at helping release $19 billion in federal stimulus funds. The standards are expected to be developed over a period of several months. The program is designed to coax the medical establishment to move away from paper files and to pave the way for currently incompatible files to be accessible in standard formats.
"Widespread adoption of electronic health records holds great promise for improving health care quality, efficiency, and patient safety," said the Health and Human Services Department's David Blumenthal in a statement. Blumenthal is the health department's national coordinator for Health information Technology.
Hospitals and doctors who adopt the program's new standardized software would receive bonuses for using the software. The existing patchwork of paper files and incompatible electronic files has caused many segments of the medical delivery system to hesitate to move to new electronic systems, because no meaningful standard exists. The CMS hopes to pave the way to a workable standardized system though stimulus funds.
There is widespread belief that standardized electronic medical files will improve medical delivery to patients and cut costs as well. A recent study of healthcare executives carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers found they believe the information contained in electronic medical records will become the heath care industry's most valuable asset, once the data becomes accessible.
The CMS proposal calls for at least 80% of patients requesting an electronic copy of their heath records,to receive the copy within 48 hours.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.