As the Bush administration pushes for computerizing healthcare, David Brailer, M.D., the president's point man on healthcare information technology, said physicians and their offices are the beachhead in getting the system as a whole on board.
Speaking today at a forum held by the Center for Health Transformation in Washington, D.C., Brailer said that getting doctors to accept technology in their practices will be key to hospitals successfully computerizing their own systems.
The all-day conference, which will culminate in a report at the end of the month on how the federal government can incentivize adoption of IT by the healthcare industry, also featured former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation.
Gingrich said the administration must make recommendations that can begin to be implemented by health providers this year.
Brailer's appointment as the National Health Information Technology Coordinator was announced May 6.
"I will not tell you a lot about the substance of our work because we are still trying to understand the substance," said Brailer, summing up his first month on the job.
He repeated today what he had said in earlier addresses, that the private sector will have to share with the federal government in the investment burden for healthcare IT.
"The federal government will not write a check for this," he said.