DeSalvo: Health IT Needs To Catch Up With Other Sectors

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | December 4, 2014

The healthcare industry needs to catch up with other industries in fully leveraging information technology to drive innovation and advancements in care delivery, according to Karen DeSalvo, M.D., acting assistant secretary for health and national coordinator for health IT.

“It’s the information and technology age and it’s time for health and healthcare to come along,” said DeSalvo, speaking at a Dec. 3 Bipartisan Policy Center forum in Washington, D.C. “Even if you have significant chronic disease, most of your health experience happens outside of the doctor’s office or outside of the hospital. Being able to build a health IT platform that can enable and capture that for the consumer based on their own consent, their own expectations about who’s going to host that for them and in what ways will it be shared, is increasingly important and frankly is happening in other sectors and we need to get ahead of that in the health IT space.” 

The country has reached a “tipping point” in the “adoption and adaption” of health IT with the meaningful use electronic health records program, DeSalvo believes. Likewise, Bill Frist, M.D., former U.S. senator and senior fellow and co-chair of the health project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told the audience that currently approximately 44 percent of hospitals and 40 percent of physicians have adopted at least a basic EHR system. EHRs are helping to “inform and empower the patient in terms of clinical decision-making for themselves and in that engagement with their physician to put them on the right and correct track,” he argues...