HealthCommentary

Exploring Human Potential

“Meaningful Use”: Health Information Technology

Posted on | December 15, 2009 | No Comments

Zoe Baird,
President, Markle Foundation

Dear Colleagues,

It has been almost a year since President Obama signed the Recovery Act with economic stimulus that included about $40 billion to help finance health information technology. Soon, we expect that Medicare and Medicaid programs will release criteria for the “Meaningful Use” of health information technology (IT)—the metrics by which doctors and hospitals will qualify for the new incentive payments. Through Markle’s ongoing collaboration across a wide spectrum of leaders in the health sector, we have put forward a vision for guiding the definition of Meaningful Use so that the investments are used to improve health, increase the cost-effectiveness of care, protect privacy, and encourage innovation.

In a letter dated November 13, a diverse group of collaborators recommended that four strategic questions be applied to the pending Meaningful Use rule:

  • Are there clear and achievable health and efficiency goals?
  • Do the requirements motivate information use to improve health and cost-effectiveness of care?
  • Do the requirements foster patient engagement in reaching the Meaningful Use goals?
  • Do the requirements focus on information use and allow for ongoing innovation across a wide array of participants, rather than prescribing specific technology features?      (to continue…)

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