Is the goal line in sight for California? Experts and stakeholders measure the distance to achieving widespread use of HIT.
Health information technology (HIT) is playing an increasingly important role in improving the quality and efficiency of care delivery and, ultimately, lowering costs. Recognizing the challenges many providers face implementing HIT systems, however, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to offer incentives for the "meaningful use" of HIT by physicians and hospitals. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) further encourages providers to use HIT systems to increase access to care and to improve care coordination and communications with patients.
Beyond Meaningful Use: Perspectives on HIT Progress in California summarizes the views of more than 20 California stakeholders, including public and private payers and HIT experts, concerning their progress and setbacks on the road to HIT adoption, how HIT use is evolving with implementation of health reform, and what the state's health care delivery system will face in the near future regarding HIT. Interviewees talked about their development in using HIT to address key tenets of the ACA: access to care, care coordination, efficiency and effectiveness, patient engagement, and population health.
The report also highlights areas of improvement for the state:
- Many providers need help implementing EHRs and advancing beyond initial meaningful use requirements to achieve payment and delivery reform.
- Public hospitals, health centers, and other community providers lack payment models that provide incentives for significant investment in their technology infrastructures.
- HIT innovation is making slow progress within the state; EHRs must evolve or be replaced.
- Sustained HIT leadership is required to coordinate the multiple private and public efforts that are moving forward as California health reform takes shape.
The full report is available as a Document Download.