InformationWeek, September 7, 2011
In a New York City program that subsidized doctors' electronic health records in return for sharing quality data with the city, physicians showed significant improvements on eight of 10 preventive care indicators, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The findings provide some perspectives on the federal government's Meaningful Use program, which requires attestation-of-quality data this year and electronic reporting in 2012. Not coincidently, the national coordinator of health IT, Farzad Mostashari, MD, who has responsibility for implementing the federal incentive program, led the team that created the New York EHR program when he was assistant commissioner of the city's department of health and mental hygiene. Since 2007, the Primary Care Improvement Project has helped primary care doctors in underserved areas acquire EHRs. Quality data has been transmitted automatically from those EHRs to the department of health on a monthly basis. The JAMIA study focused on 309 small practices that adopted EHRs under PCIP between 2007 and 2010. Most of these practices contained only one or two physicians, and 53% of their patients were on Medicaid or uninsured.