Information Technology Used in Health Care

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that Congress:

  • Use federal incentives to support a system of “Connected Patient Centered Medical Homes,” electronically networking patients with their family physicians and other medical-home providers in communities throughout the U.S. It is time to recognize that over 80 percent of health care is delivered in doctors’ offices, and to apply modern HIT in those settings.
  • Provide differential payments to physicians who can demonstrate that they use Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) for care coordination, disease management, referrals, e-prescribing, and for communications with patients and other doctors. This means positive incentives for physicians who provide these services, but does not mean taking away money for those who do not yet have an HIT system.
  • Target federal financial support for HIT to physicians who are serving the underserved or those at risk for health disparities. These vulnerable populations would benefit particularly from a system of connected patient centered medical homes.
  • Support private sector efforts to apply broad computer and communications standards for portability and interoperability to health information exchange. While a long-term goal has been to establish a National Health Infrastructure, this goal could be accomplished in a more simple and efficient way by using the Internet.
  • Ensure privacy protections apply to all parties who store, organize, manage, and transfer patients’ personal health information, not only to HIPAA -covered entities. (2007) (2012 COD)