Blues back ONC patient engagement HIT efforts

By Diana Manos
08:58 AM
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The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has pledged its support for the Office of the National Coordinator's (ONC) campaign to promote consumer awareness of health information technology.

“Health information technology has the power to transform the way healthcare is delivered and significantly increase safety, efficiency and the quality of care for all Americans,” said BCBSA officials, in a statement issued Dec. 22. “The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association strongly supports initiatives to advance health information technology and supports efforts by the Office of the National Coordinator ‘to engage and empower individuals to be partners in their health through information technology.’”

BCBSA recently released a new proposal, “Building Tomorrow’s Healthcare System: The Pathway to High Quality, Affordable Care” that the group hopes will offer a comprehensive, interconnected action plan “to fundamentally transform the healthcare system.”

BCBSA officials said the association and the nation’s 39 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have been at the forefront of efforts to encourage broad adoption of health IT by developing national standards for personal health records (PHRs), encouraging providers to use electronic prescribing and electronic medical records, and promoting the adoption of interoperable health IT.

[See also: North Carolina Blues, Allscripts to hook up 750 docs with EHRs.]

“Our shared vision for the future of healthcare in America includes the use of health information technology to drive safer and better care for all Americans,” said BCBSA officials. “We look forward to working with the administration and others to help promote consumer awareness and engagement in health IT.”

Read BCBSA’s "Building Tomorrow’s Healthcare System: The Pathway to High-Quality, Affordable Care in America" on the BCBSA website here.

[See also: EHRs are inevitable, experts say.]

Follow Diana Manos on Twitter @DManos_IT_News.