As their contribution to National Health Information Technology Week, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) are introducing in the Senate and the House of Representatives an Independent Health Record Bank Act. The IHRB — a concept created by Cerner Corp. — would be a non-profit organization, similar to a credit union, regulated by the Commerce Secretary that would receive health record “deposits” from its customers. The bank would receive fees from customers and from the researchers to whom it would sell health data with the customer’s permission.
What’s more, the Center for Studying Health System Change released a study on the change in physician use of information technology for five clinical activities over the past five years. According to the Center, “[t]he 2000-01 survey contains information on about 12,000 physicians and had a 59 percent response rate, and the 2004-05 survey includes information from more than 6,600 physicians and had a 52 percent response rate. “Between 2000-01 and 2004-05, the proportion of physicians reporting access to IT for each of the five clinical activities grew by at least 5 percentage points. Changes in the proportion of physicians with access to IT for each of the clinical activities between 2000-01 and 2004-05 are as follows:
- Obtaining treatment guidelines grew from 52.9 percent to 64.8 percent.
- Exchanging clinical data with other physicians grew from 40.6 percent to 50.1 percent.
- Accessing patient notes increased from 36.6 percent to 50.4 percent
- Generating reminders grew from 23.6 percent to 29.3 percent
- Writing prescriptions increased 11.4 percent to 21.9 percent.”