Health IT website aims to boost market transparency
- By Amanda Ziadeh
- Jun 06, 2016
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology is making it easier for buyers to understand and access information about certified health IT products.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there was not enough reliable information about costs and limitations concerning various health IT products and services. This lack of transparency made it difficult for buyers to compare systems, and made unexpected costs and implementation issues more likely. It could also lead to practices -- such as information blocking -- that interfere with the flow of health information and the use of these tools to improve care, according to the Health IT Buzz blog.
With recently required transparency information from vendors on certified product costs and capabilities, ONC began upgrading Certified Health IT Product List with material about available health IT modules, transparency updates, certification and standards. It also created a new website, HealthIt.gov/Transparency, which provides a table of developers and links to their public product disclosures and their transparency attestation status, or their commitment actions to support transparency in the future. The site and new transparency requirements make developers more accountable for the costs and performance of their health IT, HHS asserts.
“This information and our new websites will make the process of comparing and buying certified health IT simpler and better, discourage information blocking and create clear incentives for developers to focus on the quality and usability of their products,” said Karen DeSalvo, national coordinator for health information technology. It also puts HHS closer to achieving its goal of electronic health data that can “flow seamlessly and securely where and when it is needed,” she said.
Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.