Electronic health records are a tool, the bottom floor on creating standards to move from mere billing and data collection into a platform to change the way health care is delivered, the way it is paid for, and the manner in which patients are engaged, according to Farzad Mostashari, M.D., Sc.M., the national coordinator of health information technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mostashari’s optimistic view of EHR implementation, presented at Health Journalism 2013 in Boston, was challenged by Stephen Soumerai, Sc.D., professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School. Soumerai that the government’s investment of $1.6 trillion in building the health information technology infrastructure is unsupported by any research that it will create the predicted return on investment, citing the recent Rand Corporation study that said cost savings would not occur. The investment was being made without any evidence that changes in delivery, outcomes, quality and cost savings can be achieved. Continue reading