Health IT folks can be heroes, too

Doctors and nurses aren't the only ones with potential, Mostashari says.

The national coordinator for health IT told an audience of health IT executives that they will be wasting their time if they achieve meaningful use of electronic health records without using the tool to achieve “population health management, information exchange and patient engagement," according to a report by FierceHealthIT.

Speaking this week at the fall meeting of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives in Indian Wells, Calif., Dr. Farzad Mostashari also contended that health IT innovation can help drive down health care costs, according to the report.

“We're going to create disruptive innovation … evolutionary innovation. And we're going to do it through the one thing known to create reliably faster, better and cheaper [health care], which is technology," he was quoted as saying. "The idea is that we would bring the same brilliance, the same power, that has transformed everything else and bring that to health care."

And while doctors and nurses might be most likely to come to mind when thinking of health care heroes, Mostashari argues that health IT teams are heroes, too, reports ModernHealthcare.

“As best I can tell, you are the best candidates for filling the roles of heroes for this incredible journey that we’re on,” he said, according to the report. “It’s the most important thing that we could be possibly doing, getting a health care system that will get us better health care at lower costs.”

Mostashari cited examples of hospitals using health IT to improve quality of care while patients are still hospitalized, rather than after the fact as lessons learned. “That’s a meaningful use,” he said, according to ModernHealthcare.