Stakeholders to ONC,CMS: It's time to do something about health IT burdens — 5 hearing highlights

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HHS' ONC and CMS heard multiple stakeholders express the many health IT burdens bogging down nurses and physicians in a hearing Feb. 22, according to Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

Here are five highlights from the meeting.

1. A patient advocate said he or she had been dealing with a chronic condition for nearly 40 years but none of the physicians he or she saw caught a drug-drug interaction. "The systems you are forced to use suck and don't do what they're supposed to be doing," he or she said.

2. A maryland pulmonologist expressed frustration with the "broken promise" of interoperability, which ONC is still grappling with.

3. A primary care physician pointed out physicians don't always see the connection between health IT and improved care. They asked: "What are we collecting? How is it helping provide better care?" Others added the agencies require too much reporting and too many Full-Time Equivalent Employments.

4. John Fleming, MD, ONC deputy assistant secretary for health technology reform, categorized the complaints into four goals: create easier documentation; establish EHR-based preapprovals for tests, referrals and medications; make quality reporting less demanding; and build better prescription drug monitoring programs for controlled substances.

5. "Our work won't be done until EHRs and other health IT tools are things that providers can't imagine taking care of patients without, because they need them," said ONC's Office of Clinical Quality and Safety Chief Medical Information Officer Andy Gettinger, MD, according to Politico. "I didn't get that sense today. So we have work to do."

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