Health IT as a policy change agent

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Recently, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion on Health IT as a Policy Change Agent with three people whose passion for positive change is truly infectious: former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and ONC’s Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy (and liaison to the HIMSS Board) Judy Murphy.


Aneesh Chopra laid out three “megatrends” he’s seeing in healthcare today:

• Increasing adoption of electronic health records
• Changes in how care is paid for, including incentives for coordinated care
• Empowerment of patients as they gain increased access to their own health data


Both Dr. Peake and Judy echoed Aneesh’s focus on the importance of engaging the patient in their own care. Jim was pleased with the success of VA’s “Blue Button” initiative, which he described as the ability for a patient to be able to download and share his or her health data in easy to read and portable format. He also pointed to how health IT can aid the more than 700,000 veterans using some form of home health services.

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