Health IT (information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare industry. Automated and interoperable healthcare information systems are expected to lower costs, improve efficiency and reduce error, while also providing better consumer care and service.

What happened to Apple's commitment to quality?

I just finished downloading and installing yet another update to the operating system on my Macbook.

People pay a premium price for Apple products and reasonably expect to receive a superior product. A MacBook pro costs $1,299. A comparable HP laptop (the EliteBook 745 ) starts at $749. A 9.7 inch iPad Pro (with 32GB of storage) costs $599, while a 9.7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 with 32GB is $499.

Auto bumpers and HealthIT Interoperability

Ralph Nadar's book Unsafe At Any Speed raised public awareness of some of the safety problems associated with the Chevrolet Corvair.  Nadar’s book, however, was also an indictment of the auto industry as a whole and served as a lightning rod for legislation establishing what would eventually become the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

These two industries, HealthIT and automobiles have quite a lot in common including that they are both highly regulated.  These regulations exist because in both industries poor design can lead to safety issues and the possible death of their user’s.

ONC Final Rule for 2015 Certification Criteria: Safety-enhanced design

The final rule for the ONC 2015 certification has been released.

The 550+ page document identifies a number of changes from the previously published proposed rule in direct response to a number of comments provided to ONC.

Patients Want Providers Who Offer Health IT Capabilities

Physicians who do not work to improve electronic health information sharing could lose patients to more technology-savvy providers, according a survey commissioned by Surescripts, Health IT Interoperability reports.

The survey, conducted by Kelton Global, polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults during the first week of May (Irving, Health IT Interoperability, 9/28).


According to the survey, 55% of respondents said their medical history is incomplete or missing altogether when they visit their physician, despite the use of electronic health records.

Among other things, respondents reported that providers often lacked information about their:

  • Allergies;
  • Existing medical conditions; and
  • Prescriptions.

Paul Uhrig, chief administrative and legal officer and chief privacy officer at Surescripts, said, "The challenge is the lack of interoperability" (Reed, Washington Business Journal, 9/28).

The survey concluded that technologically advanced providers have an advantage because:

  • 57% of respondents said they want a doctor who stores medical records electronically;
  • 57% want a doctor who enables them to complete paperwork online before an appointment;
  • 54% want to receive test results online; and
  • 54% want to schedule appointments online (Health IT Interoperability, 9/28).

Further, the survey found that:

  • 46% of respondents said they are more comfortable asking their provider questions via email or text, rather than just by phone; and
  • 43% said they would contact their provider more often if they could do so via text and email.

According to the survey, 70% of respondents said that doctors who use computers or tablets instead of paper during visits are organized and efficient. The majority of patients also said they were comforted, relieved and confident when their provider made administration tasks -- such as appointment scheduling -- digital.

Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton in a statement said, "Dangerous voids in health information sharing can easily be solved through the use of digital communications and technology" (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 9/28).

Source: iHealthBeat, Tuesday, September 29, 2015