“The poor usability and utility,” the report found, “is resulting in health IT contributing to the growing problem of physician burnout.” This is a pressing concern given that the country faces an imminent shortage of primary care physicians and a growing demand for primary care services that the Congressional Budget Office projects will have increased by 18 percent between 2013 and 2023.
What’s needed is what the coalition calls a “principled redesign” of health IT that would embrace new types of information and new kinds of technology to enhance the ability of primary care doctors and their teams—the professionals best-situated to achieve the Triple Aim goals—to improve healthcare and the health of patients.
The report sets forth a vision that foresees that within ten years, technology will play an increasingly important role in making it easier for individuals and their healthcare professionals to have “a comprehensive view” of a patient health, which will enable the development and execution of personalized care plans.
To deliver on health IT’s promise, the coalition says the nation must close the technology gap, setting out a list of fifteen expectations for IT improvement. For example, under the vision statement, within a year, technologies will emerge to remove barriers to patient-doctor communication, creating greater connection, transparency and trust.
In three years, technology will be available to allow everyone in the country to have their own health records. Technology will also provide easy ways to support healthy behaviors like diet and exercise.
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In five years, technology will aggregate data to meaningfully compute health indicators to enable early identification of emerging health problems. In seven years, technology will help bridge gaps in care and reduce disparities in care that have a negative impact on the health of the poor and members of certain racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.