HHS launches 'Health IT Buzz' blog

By Diana Manos
03:02 PM

David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, is launching a new blog designed to allow readers to learn more about the ONC's work in healthcare IT.

Blumenthal said the blog would also provide a forum for consumers, providers, policymakers and technology experts to share their ideas and concerns regarding healthcare IT.

Contents of the blog will be syndicated by Healthcare IT News and can be accessed via the Healthcare IT News Blog.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will hold a media conference call  Tuesday to discuss the blog and the availability of new grants to strengthen the healthcare IT workforce.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes new resources to improve healthcare through advances in health IT and offers incentives to hospitals and providers who demonstrate meaningful use of health information technology. Federal officials say information technology has the potential to improve the quality of care for patients while reducing costs.

According to ONC officials, activities to be discussed on Health IT Buzz would include:

  • Activities to advance standards to achieve interoperability, which will ensure accurate and widespread exchange of health information;
  • Evaluation of new options for the certification of electronic health records;
  • Exploration of health IT-related regulatory and guidance initiatives to protect  the privacy and security of health information;  and
  • An assessment of critical privacy and security issues.