The 2017 ONC Annual Meeting, held November 30th to December 1st in Washington DC, was all about healthcare interoperability and health IT usability this year.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and leads the administration’s health IT efforts. The ONC is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care.
EHR Intelligence reports had a conversation with ONC National Coordinator Don Rucker, MD.
The current ONC chief has a clear passion for computing stemming from early years developing the first EHR technology based on Microsoft Word to his tenure as chief medical officer at Siemens Healthcare USA — all the while finding the time to practice medicine. For Rucker, the time is ripe for real health IT innovation given the availability of cutting-edge processing power and the ingenuity of developers.
“Much of the documentation rules made sense in a paper world,” Rucker maintained. “Most of the documentation stuff that these EMRs were designed against was engineered in a paper. CPT coding we have now was done in the early nineties. We have used computers to pave the cow path, but we really haven’t used computers to rethink the labor parts of care. If you look at healthcare, super labor-intensive — and most of the patient safety issues actually come from the labor intensivity.”
There are interesting parallels to that of EHR/EMR and revenue cycle. Many innovations in RCM have leveraged CPU processing capacities in the cloud. One such example is the OrboAccess healthcare payment and remittance automation solution – – the national health IT emphasis is right in step with our vision!