And in 10 years, the family medicine coalition envisions technology that will fully support the role of primary care doctors as leaders, partners and advocates for the health of all.
Congress in 2009 passed legislation aimed at accelerating the use of health IT by making available up to $27 billion in incentive payments to hospitals and health professionals to encourage them to adopt and use electronic health records. A year later, the newly established Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation began testing new payment and care delivery models that required the use of information technology to coordinate care.
While these and other efforts may represent positive advancements in health IT, we still have a long way to go before the benefits of technology are fully realized. That won’t happen until there’s IT in place and in wide use that strengthens the patient-physician relationship, promotes collaboration across the medical neighborhood and allows patients to have greater control of their own health.
Further reading: Why physicians should be active on social media
Glen R. Stream, MD, is a family physician in La Quinta, California, and president of Family Medicine for America’s Health, which sponsors Health is Primary. Steven E. Waldren, MD, is director, Alliance for eHealth Innovation at the American Academy of Family Physicians and leader of the Family Medicine for America’s Health Technology Tactic Team.