Members of a new workgroup that will focus on identifying key considerations to improve patient safety and promote innovation in health IT, including mobile medical applications, have been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The workgroup will report to the Health IT Policy Committee, which advises the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).
The workgroup will hold its first meeting April 29. The workgroup’s membership includes agency officials and experts representing patients, consumers, healthcare providers, startup companies, and health plans or other third-party payers. The workgroup also includes venture capital investors, information technology vendors, health information technology vendors, small businesses, purchasers, employers, and other stakeholders.
"Patients already benefit from innovative information technology tools such as electronic health records that allow their providers to improve coordination and delivery of care," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "This workgroup will help the Health IT Policy Committee consider new ways to navigate this rapidly growing industry while promoting innovation and protecting patient safety."
"New technologies can revolutionize healthcare, helping to improve patient outcomes, while expanding access, creating convenience and lowering healthcare costs for millions of Americans," added FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "We anticipate that this talented group of leaders from their respective fields of discipline will help to bring fresh ideas to the table with an eye towards ensuring patient safety.”