Pilot scheme to pave way for healthcare IT system

Top Quote In May, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 15 communities across the country would serve as pilot communities for eventual wide-scale use of health information technology through the Beacon Community program, also dubbed the meaningful use project. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 13, 2010 - The program would be the first step in making "meaningful and measurable" improvements to health care quality as well as paving the way for the growing healthcare IT industry.

    "The most important health care innovations are those that are designed and tested by providers and community leaders all across the country. Beacon Communities will offer insight into how health IT can make a real difference in the delivery of health care," said Secretary Sebelius. "The Beacon Community Program will tap the best ideas across America and demonstrate the enormous benefit health IT will have to improving health and care within our communities."

    It was hoped that the selected communities will utilize the IT services as a way of uniting the healthcare community and patients to improve industry quality and efficiency. The entire program is part of an overall $100 billion federal government investment in science, innovation and technology the Administration is making through the Recovery Act to spur domestic job creation in emerging industries and create a long-term foundation for economic growth.

    The drive for a more efficient healthcare IT system has also seen massive progress last week, when a bipartisan bill was passed. The Electronic Health Record Incentives for Multi-Campus Hospitals Act of 2010 will, in the words of Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio), "help our hospitals advance their technology, improve the quality of care, and better serve their patients."

    Currently most hospital systems have incremental acquisition, training and implementation costs when adopting health IT systems. However, the new legislation means that the health IT incentives in the Recovery Act will address these costs and offer choices for how the centers receive the incentive payments, reflecting differences between large and small multi-campus hospital systems.

    The change and growth of a healthcare IT system through the meaningful use project, will be one of the topics being discussed at the Next Generation Health-care Summit at The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami on the 15-17 November 2010.

    Industry leaders attending to discuss the seismic shift in US health-care this year include Daniel Newman of Boston Medical Centre, Ken Bobis - Mayo Clinic, Tom Langston - SSM Health Care, Cathy Bruno - Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and Fernando Martinex of Broward Health.

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