Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank published a "scathing critique of the government’s efforts to promote healthcare information technology," reports Healthcare IT News.
In its August 2008 edition of Health Care News, Heartland’s analysts call the ONC- Coordinated Federal Health Information Technology Strategic Plan 2008-2012 "poorly conceived" and argue that "any plan for changing the healthcare system is better coming from the private sector rather than government . . ."
Greg Scandlen, Director of Consumers for Health Care Choices at the Heartland Institute, further claims that "[a]ny system that is imposed today will be obsolete in five years," and that "[t]he federal government is woefully incapable of changing or eliminating outdated rules and regulations. So we will be stuck for all time with whatever they come up with today."
However, I think that Heartland does not address the fact that the myriad of incompatible standards that have been developed for HIT, privacy, and agreements in connection with health information exchange has also slowed progress. And, as hundreds and maybe thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators across America "roll out new approaches, try them out, refine them based on experience, and repeat the process," we continue to be left with disjointed systems and vacuums for emerging standards.
In short, we might not have the time and luxury of allowing market forces to reach their final determinations when the economic and clinical benefits of implementing coordinated systems for health information exchange are needed now. As such, a centralized coordinator and gatekeeper, such as ONC, may potentially optimize the process — if done right — and so, cooperation between the private and public sector could be key to quicker progress.