Health IT Policy Committee Work Group Charts Governance Course

Lora Bentley

President Obama and others have been pushing electronic health records for years, in part because electronic health records will enable the country to maintain a Nationwide Health Information Network.


To further that effort, Congress passed measures as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act last year that provide federal incentives to eligible health care facilities and physicians that implement certified electronic health records systems. For months now, providers and observers alike have watched as the Department of Health and Human Services has worked to define how those providers can qualify for incentive dollars.


Last week, according to HealthIT News, the Health IT Policy Committee's Governance Work Group, led by John Lumpkin, MD, met for the first time and outlined its goals. Writer Mary Mosquera explains:

The workgroup was chartered - not to set specific standards or policies - but to define a process for assuring secure information exchange..."We can identify those areas impeding exchange nationwide and how best to address them in governance," said Lumpkin.


The group's recommendations will be presented to the Health IT Policy Committee next month. Part of the work group's plan of attack, then, is to gather recommendations from other industries, like banking, that have established processes and policies for the secure exchange of sensitive information. As such, information panels designed to elicit those recommendations are scheduled for Sept. 28.

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Sep 12, 2010 12:03 PM Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson  says:

Federal  funding may be encouraging a move toward EHR, but there's more to it than just installing systems. How can healthcare data pooling lead to a better system? More at

Sep 15, 2010 10:36 AM m ellard m ellard  says:

One of the challenges here that may be being a bit overlooked is user acceptance.  I recently spoke with a doctor who, rightly or wrongly, was incensed over what she perceived as the forced march toward electronic records. She pointed out that her priority is treating her patients, many of whom had very serious life-threatening conditions, and that changing the process by which she kept her records was a distraction that detracted from her time/ability to focus on patient care.

In order for users to buy into this new process, I agree: there has to be a clear benefit that is not just about systems - it is clearly about patient care. Also, it must take into account both immediate and long term issues. Otherwise, as smart as this transition may be, it will not happen easily or quickly but rather with resistance from the medical community.


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