Posted in Perspective

A call for redesign of U.S. healthcare IT

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
A call for redesign of U.S. healthcare IT

The U.S. healthcare system needs “new types of information and new kinds of technology” to work effectively for providers and patients, the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) argues in calling for a revamp of health information technology.

“Technology has great potential to help foster connections and relationships among healthcare professionals, individuals, and communities, and to be a catalyst instead of the barrier it frequently is today,” AAFP said in a published statement titled “Vision for a Principled Redesign of Health Information Technology.”

Among things, AAFP said, poorly designed technologies are “resulting in health IT contributing to the growing problem of physician burnout.”

But the organization expressed optimism that the Triple Aim of better health, better quality, and better value is within reach.

“Primary care physicians are healers, leaders, and partners, and it is through partnership with specialist leaders, including in the field of public health, and others in the community that improved health and healthcare can be achieved,” AAFP wrote.

The group laid out a 10-year roadmap toward a sustainable healthcare system in which “individuals and the people who take care of them will understand their health, know when their health is deteriorating, and know how to get help (have a usual source of care).”

“Technology will facilitate an ease of knowing, allowing individuals and their healthcare professionals to have a comprehensive view of their health, which includes individual, community, and environmental aspects of health, and to use this information in developing and executing personalized care plans,” AAFP said.

In the short-term, AAFP said it expects providers to use data visualization technologies, doctor-patient communication to improve, and advances in data integration efforts. Five years from now, AAFP said, it hopes to see full interoperability and widespread use of predictive analytics for population health management.

AAFP said it expects 10 years from now that technology will fully support primary care doctors to be leaders, partners, and advocates for the health of all and “will allow patients to be in control of their health.”