The government requirements around stage 2 of that process include criteria on how healthcare facilities can exchange key clinical information about patients and provide patients with online access to their health data.
IT systems that reinforce medical best practices, such as equipment sterilization procedures, are the best hope for driving down hospitals' preventable health problems and costs, such as infections.
"There is nothing wrong we can't fix," Clinton said. But, he added, the healthcare industry must be willing to let go of "horse and buggy systems," a lack of transparency for consumers and the practice of disempowering ordinary citizens from becoming more involved in their own healthcare.
Clinton again pointed to hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania as an example of how healthcare should be administered. "We're going to give all of our [patients] a guarantee that if you go back to a hospital after three months for any reason related to the care you got, we pay for it and it can't be used to raise your premiums, your co-pays or your deductibles," he said. "Guess what, the error rates dropped way down."
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
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