In his first health IT speech since assuming his post as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, M.D., addressed Datapalooza attendees emphasizing the need to simplify reporting and usability burdens in electronic health records (EHRs).
“The promise of health IT is so great, but we must recognize that a one-size-fits-all, inflexible system for our nation’s patients and physicians simply will not work,” he said. “We’ll work on reducing burdens from the federal level but folks on the ground need to help make certain that IT increases usability and interoperability for physicians and patient, and I’m optimistic of the innovations you can come up with to make that happen.”
Other federal government officials at the conference included U.S. Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) who echoed some of the challenges mentioned by Price, including lack of advancement towards true interoperability throughout the health care system.
U.S. Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights Director Roger Severino focused on the importance of data privacy and security noting, “With big data come big responsibilities.”
Bringing an international perspective, Saudi Minister of Health Tawfiq Alrabiah highlighted health care innovation in Saudi Arabia outlining how the government uses Uber to deliver vaccines directly to patients’ homes.
Government policy makers certainly represent an important perspective when it comes to using data to improve health and health care, but Datapalooza is unique in its ability to offer cross sector discussions around the future of health data and how that data can be used to challenge current practices and trigger change in the industry.
Director of Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy Mark McClellan emphasized the symbiotic relationship between policy reform and new opportunities for delivery system transformation.