Interoperability has become a key topic in today's healthcare research and this issue has brought the collaboration between the private and public sector into the spotlight.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has increased efforts recently, timing these efforts with the Meaningful Use deadlines approaching organizations nationwide. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell announced a new program last week that would be a two-year grant program for $28 million to encourage adoption of health IT and to increase interoperability, thus supporting the use of the health information exchange. HHS and the new program will include 12 new awards; these awards will be cooperative agreements to states, territories or state designated entities to continue work under the same intent as the original State Health Information Exchange Program.
As quoted in FierceHealthIT, HHS Secretary Burwell spoke about the new program: "This two-year grant program will ask awardees to demonstrate innovative, community-based solutions to advance, standardize, and secure an interoperable movement of health information across organizations, vendors, and geographic boundaries."
She continued to discuss the importance of the new program for interoperability: "It's important to remember the real reason we're doing this work because if we succeed in our efforts around interoperabilty and delivery system reform, it means that a patient who's admitted to a hospital or referred to a specialist will be more likely to get the right tests and medications because her doctors are doing a better job of coordinating with each other."
As we know in the medical scribe industry, the increasing presence of technology in healthcare operations can increase efficiency. While technology can improve efficiency and help streamline activity in practices and hospitals, this high-tech environment can cause headaches in the process. This HHS program and the Health Information Exchange are keys to improving the quality of care for patients. But, it is key to hire the right people to implement these changes and to help in the adoption of the rapid changes in the way the healthcare industry does business. Medical scribes can be of assistance to busy practices and organizations that are adapting to the new technological changes in healthcare.