Health and Human Services Department Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius is aiming to improve Health IT drastically. So, How will the department go about improving Health IT initiatives? By pouring money into different grants. Last Friday, the Health and Human Services Department announced their plans to award at least $750 million in different grants to push electronic health records systems.
The Department of Labor will also aid in the push for Health IT initiatives. They will be awarding some additional grants that will increase training programs for the health IT workforce.
According to NextGov reports, Secretary Sebelius stated, “When electronic health records are designed and used correctly, there’s a huge benefit to patients and doctors. Despite this, only 20% of doctors and 10% of hospitals have even basic electronic health records. We have some distance to cover.”
The biggest challenges with the advancement of Health IT are 1) the lack of information about the electronic health records systems available and 2) the compatibility issues between different systems that make it more difficult to exchange information.
As Secretary Sebelius mentioned, there is a lot of ground to cover to advance health IT initiatives. Hopefully with the new grants, doctors and hospitals will have more trained workers and receive more support and resources that they need to adopt electronic health records.