Feedback from eMDs Community Members in Attendance
Austin, TX – On June 19th, the White House and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) held an invitation-only Town Hall meeting in the Executive Office Building of the White House Complex to discuss the status of HIT. White House members in attendance included Cecilia Munoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Liz Fowler, special assistant to the president for healthcare and economic policy. The session was moderated by ONC director Farzad Mostashari, MD, who announced that 110,000 providers had attained incentive payments from CMS thus far for the Meaningful Use of certified electronic health records (EHRs). A total of 88 HIT stakeholders from diverse backgrounds (hospitals, clinics, the payer community, universities and others) accepted invitations to attend, including seven members of the eMDs community (six eMDs users and the eMDs President and CEO).
A panel made up of five healthcare professionals, including eMDs user Dr. James D. Johns, shared their experiences with HIT. Dr. Johns noted that the support and funding made available through The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Ohio Regional Center (REC) had been very helpful to his practice as they recently implemented their EHR. The floor was then opened to questions, and eMDs user John Bender, MD, described in detail the challenges associated with interoperability, in particular the costs of implementing these systems. Several members of the audience concurred, and others offered that the implementation of candidate standards would reduce the cost of interfaces. Other participants described challenges with sharing data in communities and difficulties with getting some organizations to share data due to business related concerns. Some offered that the Direct Model was working well for them in their communities.
Success stories related to the patient care advantages of EHRs emerged as a persistent theme. Overall, participants demonstrated a high level of sophistication with EHR technology and many were seeking guidance as to how to best participate in health data exchange.
eMDs attendees included the following:
Michael Stearns, MD, President and CEO of eMDs;
Dr. James D. Johns of Little Flower Family Practice, Inc. in Canton, Ohio;
Dr. John Bender of Miramont Family Medicine with locations in Fort Collins, Wellington, and Parker, Colorado;
Dr. Marvin Hardy, Medical Director, and Stephanie Garris, Executive Director; both with Grace Medical Home in Orlando, Florida;
Justin Bennett, NP, owner of Riverside Family Medicine in Maurepas, Alabama. Jennifer Brull, MD, FAAFP, owner of Prairie Star Family Practice in Plainville, Kansas (who attended the pre-meeting at ONC the day prior, but who was unable to attend the White House event).
Dr. Amish M. Parikh M.D., F.A.C.C., Premier Cardiology & Vascular Associates in Winter Park, Florida
Dr. Stearns commented: “It was great to see this many eMDs users participate and we were honored to be invited. I am hopeful that this event gave the White House first hand exposure to the advances in HIT supported by the HITECH Act and the Office of the National Coordinator. EHR adoption and sophistication has markedly accelerated and healthcare providers are ready to move on to true data exchange.”
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eMDs is a leading developer of integrated electronic health records and practice management software for physician practices and enterprises. Founded and actively managed by physicians, the company is an industry leader for usable, connected software that enables physician productivity and clinical excellence. eMDs software has received continual top rankings in physician and industry surveys including those conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians and KLAS. For more information, please visit www.e-mds.com, http://www.facebook.e-mds.com, and twitter.com/emds.