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The Election and Healthcare IT

Tomorrow the Presidential election process comes to an end and the advertising will finally stop.   We’ll all be relieved.   I especially look forward to a quiet dinner at home without robotic election-related calls.

What about healthcare IT?  Will differences in the Obama and Romney platforms impact the momentum of Meaningful Use?

Here’s what I believe.

The Obama Healthcare IT platform builds on what we’ve created over the past few years.   It will continue to leverage the federal advisory committees (Policy and Standards) to engage a wide array of stakeholders.   It will persist the progression to Meaningful Use Stage 3 and possibly future stages.   It will embrace certification now the temporary certification process has been replaced with a permanent one.   It will support the initiatives of the Standards and Interoperability framework (S&I), although the end of stimulus funds from ARRA means that ONC will move some of the S&I initiatives to private/public partnerships.  It will support the current leadership at ONC – Farzad and his delegates such as Steve Posnack, Doug Fridsma, and Judy Murphy.

The Romney Healthcare IT platform notes that Healthcare IT is an issue which has broad bipartisan support.   No one argues that a foundation of healthcare IT implemented properly is essential for accountable care organizations.   Quality, safety, and efficiency  all benefit from the process enhancement afforded by healthcare IT.    Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of HHS and chair of the American Health Information Community (AHIC) will lead the Romney transition team and Leavitt has years of experience with healthcare IT issues from the early days of ONC.     As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported the early EHR rollout efforts of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.

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