Health Information Technology

The effective use of health IT is absolutely critical to improving quality and safety in health care — and the time is now.

The momentum for implementation of health information technology is growing — and we’ve been there every step of the way to ensure that when it gets done, it gets done right.

Case in point: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). When ARRA was passed in 2009, it included $19 billion for incentives to spur health IT adoption, as well as a number of enhancements to federal privacy law, which will help people trust that electronic health information will be shared only according to their wishes.

Under ARRA, providers who receive financial incentives must be ‘meaningful users’ of health IT. A major component of the implementation of these provisions has been to define what it means to "meaningfully use" health IT — a process which take place in three stages.

Along with our partners in the Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH), the National Partnership has been among the most powerful voices in this debate and has worked to ensure that the definition of ‘meaningful use’ in the first phase of the health IT Incentive Program contains criteria that will advance patient-centered care. Bottom line: Health providers who take federal incentives for health IT adoption will be accountable for using health IT in ways that result in noticable improvements in the care you receive.

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