History of the Health IT Revolution Discussed by Dr. Mostashari at Community College Graduation

Uploaded by HHSONC on 11.05.2011

So why now?
Why is this health IT revolution happening now?
Informatics in health care has been around for decades.
In fact, HHS gave its first health care informatics grant
in 1968.
But, while many of the other parts of our industry,
of our economy, implemented IT and gained
the productivity gains, the quality gains,
the efficiency gains that came with IT,
health care lagged behind.
Yes, health care is complex, but what was missing was
the alignment -- the alignment between the business cases,
between what the technology offered
and what the providers needed.
The alignment, mostly, of the economic incentives.
For the people who made the investments weren't the ones
who were reaping the benefits of the technology.
And for years, these factors just kept missing each other.
So then what happened?
Well, the nation came together in support of health IT
in a truly bipartisan manner.
This is one area where there is bipartisan support,
if you can believe it.
[ Laughter ]
Second, what happened was HITECH, the Health Information
Technology Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009.
And with this act, the President and Congress gave us, ONC,
dramatic new resources to build that support network,
especially to help primary care practices and smaller hospitals.
But there were also incentive payments
to help those providers realize the benefits
without having to go out of pocket for the full cost.
Those are significant.
Those meaningful use incentive payments
changed the picture dramatically.
We saw, after 20 years, the rate of basic adoption
of health records in primary care practices was 20%.
20% after 20 years.
And within one year, it jumped to 30%.
A 10-percentage-point gain in one year.
And that's a trend that's continuing.
We're heading towards that tipping point.