Physician offers important reminders during National Health Information Technology Week

Posted On: 09/11/2013

National Health Information Technology (HIT) Week is next week, Sept. 16-20. Brian Yeaman, MD, Norman, an Oklahoma ONC (Office of the National Coordinator) HIT Fellow, would like to remind those in health care what this technology stuff is all about . . . the patient! The following message is from Dr. Yeaman:
“As a busy family doc, occasional hospitalist, and self-proclaimed geek, I have a tremendous opportunity to care for people during a time of need and to help them remain healthy for as long as possible. I have a great respect for our providers who put in long hours performing this great responsibility and it is a privilege to be a part of this honored profession. 
Technology should enhance both the provider and patient experience, not hinder it. Too often the latter is the case. 
These are interesting times at the bedside and the only constant is change. I believe that change is opportunity and we have a great moment in history to help shape the future. 
Meaningful Use is a challenge at every level and frustrating for anyone trying to navigate new technology. Rapid advances and evolution of hardware and software is upon us. I would encourage you to become a vocal advocate for how your systems work and are deployed. Too often we stay busy and tired, but your support teams and HIT departments, EHR vendors, and state advocacy groups can’t help you if they don’t hear from you! Too often the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
Speak up to your support team, HIT department, and vendors this week. Tell them what you like that could be improved even further to review data and document and order. Tell them what you don’t like with some ideas on what you need! You may be amazed at what you can learn, what you can have fixed promptly, and how you can enhance your practice efficiency by speaking up this week. 
Tell the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, your Regional Extension Center (OFMQ), state agencies or your health system what you need in health care reform and the national IT initiatives. They need to hear your voice regardless of your opinions.   
Technology such as Health Information Exchange (HIE) is empowering patients and providers by creating bridges between what have traditionally been islands of medical records. This is information to drive safety and quality of the care we provide and to help control costs of duplicate testing. Personal Health Records are also empowering the patient in creating portability of their health data in ways health care has never seen. 
There is a method to the Meaningful Use madness to help improve care and I challenge you all to join me in helping make these changes in health care work for everyone. Let’s work together and make this technology shift effective and clinically meaningful and get back to the bedside and take care of each other and most importantly - the patients!”

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