Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Health IT Holding Pattern (or Calm Before the Storm?)

Despite all the frenzy over HITECH, a large part of the health IT community seems to be in a holding pattern. Maybe it is the calm before the storm. Hospitals and physician practices are waiting for the final criteria for meaningful use now that the comment period has ended. (More on those in a moment.) Researchers and innovators are waiting to hear respectively about their SHARP and Beacon proposals, while educators are waiting to hear about their workforce development proposals.

For those interested in workforce-related issues, such as certification, the press has not been quiet. A recent article by Joseph Conn described where things with a focus on physician certification, while another article by Bruce Bollag describes the ONC workforce funding initiatives in more detail.

In the meantime, a number of groups have put forth thoughtful critiques of the interim rules for meaningful use. The entirety of comments can be seen at It will be interesting to see how ONC and CMS take these into account and what modifications they make. Here are some published letters from some of the more prominent organizations:
Fortunately the wheels of educational opportunity are not standing still. AMIA has announced three offerings of the OHSU 10x10 course. Two are oriented to specific professional groups, while the other is oriented to the usual general clinical informatics audience. More information for each can be found at the following links: