Meaningful Use and Certification of Health Information Technology: What About Safety?
5 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2010 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014
Date Written: October 25, 2010
Health information technology (HIT) is becoming increasingly prevalent in medical offices and facilities. Like President George W. Bush before him, President Obama announced a plan to computerize all Americans’ medical records by 2014. Computerization is certain to transform American health care, but to ensure that its benefits outweigh its risks, the federal government must provide appropriate oversight.
President Obama’s stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), dedicated $27 billion to the promotion of health information technology. It provides payments of up to $44,000 per clinician under the Medicare incentive program and $63,750 per clinician under the Medicaid program.
In the summer of 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published three sets of regulations to implement ARRA. This article briefly describes and critiques the regulations, arguing that (1) they fail to appropriately address HIT safety and (2) further steps must be taken to protect patients and serve public health needs in the new digital era.
Keywords: Health information technology (HIT), Electronic health records, National Health Information Network, regulation, “Meaningful Use,” certification criteria, electronic medical records, certification bodies
JEL Classification: K23, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation