There is a push going on for push messaging, a likely first step in rolling out a proposed national health information network in time for healthcare organizations to use electronic health record systems in a "meaningful manner" and qualify for federal EHR subsidy payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In late October, David Blumenthal, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS called for pause in the planning of the NHIN.
Earlier this week, in testimony before a federal healthcare IT advisory panel, on blogs and postings to online discussions, what is beginning to emerge is the outline of what the healthcare IT world was put on hold to wait for, an outline of a "lighter" NHIN than has been the focus of much planning and development work in the past.
It is an NHIN still based on the Internet but with, in the short run at least, a reduced scope. The new, revised NHIN will focus on ready access and ease of use by healthcare providers who will be under the gun to purchase, implement and then "meaningfully" use by 2011 EHRs in time to receive the first subsidy payments under the Medicare portion of the program.
The stimulus law, defines meaningful use rather simply. To achieve meaningful use, providers must use a "certified" EHR for electronic prescribing, reporting quality-improvement measures and performing health information exchange "to improve the quality of healthcare, such as promoting care coordination."
Read full report here.