The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee will hold a hearing this week to discuss the ways in which patients might access their medical records to help improve their own healthcare.
Among the scheduled witnesses is Raj Ratwani, scientific director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at MedStar Health, Washington, D.C.
Ratwani created a buzz recently when JAMA published an article summarizing his research, which found some vendors of electronic health-record systems failed to meet federal compliance rules and guidelines for user-centered design under the $31 billion Medicare and Medicaid electronic health-records incentive program.
Other witnesses scheduled to appear before the committee include Kathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Eric Dishman, a fellow and general manager for health and life sciences at chipmaker Intel Corp.
The Senate committee, chaired by Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), has been burrowing into the 5-year-old federal EHR incentive program in several hearings over recent months. The committee has focused on health information technology systems' interoperability or lack thereof. In June, Alexander called the inability of healthcare information technology systems to exchange information “a glaring failure.”
But witnesses at a June 11 hearing warned against a blunt legislative approach to achieving widespread interoperability, asking instead that Congress use its influence with HHS to adjust and improve existing programs.