The American Medical Association (AMA), with Michael Hodgkins, MD, at the helm as Chief Medical Information Officer since the year 2010, has been increasing its role in health information technology (HIT) initiatives. Hodgkins, with his 25 plus years of experience in HIT and a solid foundation of training in Internal Medicine, is working with startups focusing on information sharing. The AMA is ramping up efforts to address provider concerns and devise IT solutions to support physicians in medical practice. Hodgkins is uniquely suited to the role of directing the AMA’s strategies and policies because of his extensive technological experience, as well as his understanding of clinical practice.
New York’s Upper West Side is a classic example of the new direction primary care is taking. Bank branches, clothing stores, and yogurt shops have been replaced by urgent care clinics and walk-in health facilities, sometimes competing for business on opposite sides of the street.
The reason behind this boom in readily-available healthcare is the Affordable Care Act, which has brought millions of previously uninsured Americans into the healthcare system, combined with the effect of the Baby Boomer population increasing their use of Medicare. Primary care is in demand like never before and emergency rooms simply cannot cope, with waiting times ballooning to intolerable levels.
Healthcare organizations continue to struggle with delays in patient care, provider frustration, and breaches in HIPAA due to outdated technology such as pagers and messaging services. It is estimated that healthcare loses more than $8.3 billion every year due to outdated technology, which decreases physician productivity and increases patient waiting times. Outdated communication technologies result in 45 wasted minutes of each healthcare provider’s time every day. The average hospital in the United States is losing between $500,000 and $1 million in lost revenue on account of obsolete healthcare technology according to study completed by Impriviata.
The goal is to maximize patient care and HIPAA compliance by addressing challenges such as secure text messaging. By mandate of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has presented a report to the United States Congress detailing the feasibility of giving critical advice to providers on comparing and choosing electric health record (EHR) products. This is a step in the right direction in light of the winding down of the EHR Incentive and Regional Extension Center program.