HHS Secretary: Doctors Should Deal With Patients, Not Computers

Mohana Ravindranath | Next Gov | May 1, 2017

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says improving health information technology is a key priority for the department. The former Georgia representative spoke at HHS’ annual Health Datapalooza event last week, where he sketched out plans to help physicians do their jobs better by helping improve the technological backbone of hospitals, including electronic medical records.

The various groups providing health care services to patients—clinics, hospitals, labs, pharmacies and others—can’t always seamlessly exchange patient health records, especially if their electronic medical records systems aren’t compatible, he explained.

HHS and specifically its Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s responsibility is “deciding what the rules of the road are,” Price said. Instead of providing a detailed set of requirements for health IT systems, the department can encourage the private sector to create interoperable products by providing a regulatory framework at the “60,000-foot level, at the 30,000-foot level”...