A survey of healthcare leaders has found that when it comes to improving healthcare quality, information technology is the most important solution.
The latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Opinion Leaders Survey found that 66% of 214 policy leaders believe that rapid adoption of electronic health records and other IT systems is job No. 1 for solving the problem of widespread inefficiency and uneven quality of care. That was followed by public reporting of provider performance on quality measures (59%) and financial incentives for improved quality of care, such as pay-for-performance programs (51%). Respondents were allowed to choose more than one solution.
Seventy percent of survey respondents say the federal government should play a leading role in backing providers IT investments. Another 58% say health plans and insurers have a responsibility to support expansion.
Only 7% described the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, which allows providers to voluntarily report medical errors and ensures the confidentiality of physicians and hospitals that do so, as sufficient to reduce medical errors. Three of four respondents supported mandatory reporting of medical errors; 60% say reported errors should be publicly disclosed.
Seventy-three percent of respondents backed the notion of fostering the formation of integrated delivery systems or virtual integration by information technology and/or new payment systems.
The respondents include healthcare delivery, finance and policy experts and government officials. A full story on the surveys findings will appear in the July 30 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. -- by Melanie Evans
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Physician Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.