Mohana Ravindranath | Nextgov | May 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

HHS Secretary: Doctors Should Deal With Patients, Not Computers

HHS Secretary Tom Price J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says improving health information technology is a key priority for the department.

The former Georgia representative spoke at HHS’ annual Health Datapalooza event last week, where he sketched out plans to help physicians do their jobs better by helping improve the technological backbone of hospitals, including electronic medical records.

The various groups providing health care services to patients—clinics, hospitals, labs, pharmacies and others—can’t always seamlessly exchange patient health records, especially if their electronic medical records systems aren’t compatible, he explained.

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

HHS and specifically its Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s responsibility is “deciding what the rules of the road are,” Price said. Instead of providing a detailed set of requirements for health IT systems, the department can encourage the private sector to create interoperable products by providing a regulatory framework at the “60,000-foot level, at the 30,000-foot level.”

Price said he was pleased to see ONC had created an “Interoperability Pledge” several health IT companies signed, committing them to using common standards so consumers can easily track their records.

“We simply have to do a better job of reducing the burden of health IT on physicians and all healthcare providers,” he said, instead of searching for a “one size fits all, inflexible system.”

Sometimes, clinicians struggle to adopt complex technology, forcing doctors and nurses to “spend that time tapping on screens and keyboards rather than helping patients,” Price said.

“We need our physicians to be patient facing, not computer facing, which is what many of them feel they are right now ... they feel that they have been turned into data entry clerks," he said. 

Comments
JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.