The ONC Health IT Policy Committee's Consumer Empowerment Workgroup met for the first time Tuesday, outlining some of the policy questions that need to be addressed in the areas of care plans and shared decision making.
Christine Bechtel of the National Partnership for Women & Families and Deven McGraw of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology each blasted the American Hospital Association over patient access to medical records.
The National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) highlights the fact that "patients and their families need to be at the center of efforts to modernize health care's information infrastructure," according to national coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD.
Now that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has the attention of physicians and hospitals to improve care through the meaningful use of electronic health records, ONC intends this autumn
to emphasize strategies for reaching out to consumers to participate more in their healthcare.
Most of the 2008 presidential candidates cite health IT as a key aspect of their plans to solve the health care crisis. But a lack of specifics raises questions about the ultimate worth – and sincerity – of their promises.