The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology this week released its annual report to Congress on health information exchange adoption, as required by the HITECH Act of 2009. “As of 2015, 96 percent of non-federal acute care hospitals and 78 percent of office-based physicians adopted certified health IT,” the report notes. “However, hurdles to progress still remain. For example, many certified health IT products lack capabilities that allow for greater innovation in how health information can be securely accessed and easily shared with appropriate members of the care team … Also, lack of transparent expectations for data sharing and burdensome experiences for health care providers limit the return on investment for health care providers and the value patients are able to gain from using certified health IT.” To accelerate progress, HHS said it plans to support policies that focus on improving interoperability and upgrading technical capabilities of health IT; increase transparency in data sharing practices; and prioritize reducing documentation burden and “hassle” for health care providers.
 

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