domingo, 20 de abril de 2014

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Happy, happy, Spring and it is Friday to boot! There is still time to comment on our 2015 edition proposed rule, so check it out and submit a comment if you are so inclined. The deadline is April 28.

JASON report

A group of independent scientists this week released a report, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ("A Robust Health Data Infrastructure"), that sums up the progress and challenges to nationwide interoperability. "The evidence for modest, but consistent, improvements in healthcare quality and safety is growing, especially over the last few years," the report says about the impact of health IT adoption. The challenges to widespread health IT adoption that leads to interoperability, however, are significant: "Although the transition to electronic records now seems a foregone conclusion, it is beset by many challenges, and the form and speed of that transition is uncertain."

The National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Karen DeSalvo (@KBDeSalvo), offered her reaction to the report with a blog post, calling it "a comprehensive and thoughtful look at the technical challenges in our health information technology system… The ONC and CMS have already begun to work on many of the recommendations cited in the report – although this represents the beginning, not the end of our efforts."

Read the JASON report, or Dr. DeSalvo’s blog post to see the latest. 

Health IT and advancing health equity

April is National Minority Health Month, and this year is “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.” National Coordinator DeSalvo and Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and the director of the Office of Minority Health, collaborated on a blog post how health IT can help to reduce technology gaps across and between communities of color as part of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. You can follow the Office of Minority Health on Twitter at @minorityhealth.

Health IT is already helping to improve chronic disease management and care coordination for health care providers and their patients. Health IT allows the development of targeted strategies focused on reducing chronic disease as well as targeting prevention interventions.

As part of those prevention interventions, we and our regional extension centers are working with Million Hearts®, HHS' national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  ONC's Maggie Wanis penned a blog post reviewing the programs and projects across the country to reduce health disparities while helping people lead healthy, vibrant lives.

Rural Veterans and health IT

Earlier this month, staffers from ONC, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Commerce and various private industry and trade groups came together to find solutions to health IT access problems facing rural veterans. Read the blog post for ideas about how to simplify their access to their own health records by improving access to high-speed, broadband Internet. Read, and share, our blog post about the meeting.

Webinars & Workshops

Check out our Newsroom for three upcoming events.

First, an upcoming webinar to commemorate Minority Health Month entitled: "Exploring the Impact of Health IT on Consumer Engagement and Empowerment for Communities of Color." The webinar will be held next Thursday (April 24) and runs from 2 – 3:30 pm (EDT).

Register now and join us next Thursday.

The webinar will feature National Coordinator DeSalvo, MD and Dr. Gracia,  who we mentioned co-authored the blog post "Advancing Health Equity in the Digital Age". Drs. DeSalvo and Gracia will be joined by Erin Mackay, associate director of Health IT at the National Partnership for Women and Families, Shane Hickey, MBA, MS, director of IT at the National Association of Community Health Centers, Silas Buchanan, co-founder and CEO at the Institute for eHealth Equity and Luis Belen, CEO at the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved. This webinar will investigate the importance of addressing health equity and health disparities that persist in our health care system. Health IT offers significant opportunities to improve health care access and quality in a way that can promote improved health outcomes and equity for all.

Second, is HIPAA compliance getting you down? If so, sign up for our webinar where you can chime in about our new Security Risk Assessment Tool. Register here and join us a week from Tuesday (April 29th) from 2 – 3:30 pm EDT to learn about the tool and how it can make your practice more secure.

Finally, the ONC and our Federal partners at the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Communications Commission are holding a workshop to discuss the draft report required under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA). The report lays out a strategy and makes recommendations to – among other things – draft an "appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework for health IT that promotes innovation, protects patient safety, and avoids regulatory duplication." The in-person workshop is scheduled for May 13 – 15 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Building 101, Red Auditorium,100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland. Seeing as how many of you are not local, there is also a handy webcast. Pleaseregister online by May 2, 2014, 4 p.m.

New Challenge announced

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Fee-for-Service Provider Utilization and Payment Data. These data have great potential to further the nation’s understanding of health care spending and physician practice patterns. The new Code-a-Palooza Challenge is asking developers to create tools that use the new CMS data to help consumers improve their health care decision-making. Up to ten finalists will be asked to demonstrate their tools live at Health Datapalooza on June 2, with the winner announced at the end of the conference. Check it out and start developing!

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