Hearing looks at progress on EHR 'meaningful use'

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Physicians and hospitals are making strong progress toward "meaningful use" of electronic health records, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari, M.D., said today at a hearing on the EHR programs and interoperability, citing recent increases in the share of physicians and hospitals that have adopted EHRs. However, more needs to be done to ensure that the program has a lasting impact, Marc Probst, chief information officer and vice president of information systems for Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, told the Subcommittee on Technology of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. "We must set a clear road map and support an exchange infrastructure and the adoption of standards that will make it easier to share health information so clinicians and patients have the information in the form and time they need it to make appropriate health care decisions," said Probst, who also is a member of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee. "Presently, we lack a shared infrastructure and long?term plan to make this possible." He cited the Australian railroad as an example where implementing standards proved painful in the short-term but led to long-term gains for the system.

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