The federal government's top goals for advancing health information technology will focus initially on helping the private sector organize efforts to reduce the risk of investing in electronic health records and stimulate regional collaborations among providers in a community, using IT products certified by a private entity to include a base level of desirable features.
In an address to more than 1,000 attendees at a Washington summit conference, national IT coordinator David Brailer, M.D., said HHS will form a technology leadership panel to deliver a report on immediate steps for both the public and private sectors to take on health IT adoption.
The report, due no later than fall of 2004, will assess the costs and benefits of IT to industry and society and evaluate the urgency of investments, in particular IT tools.
Brailer said the government will focus special attention on promoting IT adoption in hospitals and physician practices in rural and other underserved areas--for example, tapping the experience of the Defense Department to transfer its remote-operations experience of the battlefield to the private needs of rural providers.
Brailer said incentives for IT adoption were a top priority but did not give specifics.