Health IT website aims to boosts market transparency

Health IT website aims to boost market transparency

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 of various health IT products and services. This lack of transparency made it difficult for buyers to compare systems, making 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 said.

“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.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a Reporter/Producer for GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media, Ziadeh was a contributing journalist for USA Today Travel's Experience Food and Wine site. She's also held a communications assistant position with the University of Maryland Office of the Comptroller, and has reported for the American Journalism Review, Capitol File Magazine and DC Magazine.

Ziadeh is a graduate of the University of Maryland where her emphasis was multimedia journalism and French studies.

Click here for previous articles by Ms. Ziadeh or connect with her on Twitter: @aziadeh610.


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