In a blog published on 30th November, David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. - National Coordinator for Health Information Technology writes that he believes that "policy should be based on the best available information, carefully analyzed and considered. However, recent studies raising questions about the benefits of EHRs are informative, but limited in their applicability to our HIT program. To the extent that they accurately capture past experience with EHRs, these studies illustrate something that the Congress and the President understand and have allowed for: namely, that having an EHR alone is not sufficient. Doctors and hospitals have to use this technology effectively, have to employ its extraordinary power to improve clinical decisions, in order to achieve its potential benefits. The federal government's new programs of incentives and penalties are totally focused on encouraging the meaningful use of EHRs. The resources set aside by the Congress to encourage the adoption of EHRs will go only to physicians, hospitals, and other providers who meet carefully designed new requirements for the use of EHRs that will translate into health improvements and cost reductions for the American people. And the plan passed by Congress includes new resources and support that will help make it possible for providers and hospitals to meet these requirements. We have already announced the availability of grants that will help providers adopt and use EHRs, and we will be making additional announcements in the weeks and months ahead."
Source: Health IT Buzz Blog on The Evidence for HIT