Even as the White House has backed off on a few of its deadlines for administering the Affordable Care Act, the Obama Administration is staying the course on its efforts to transition paper files to electronic health records in doctor's offices.
President Barack Obama met with several chief executives of health-care technology companies, government leaders and nonprofit public-service organizations on Monday for a conversation on how technology, big data and innovation can be used to bring down the costs and improve the quality of health care in the U.S., according to a statement from the White House.
The Obama Administration says it has met and exceeded its goal to have 50 percent of doctor's offices and 80 percent of hospitals using electronic records by the end of the year.
The meeting included Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, and entrepreneurs ChenMed CEO Chris Chen and iTriage CEO Peter Hudson, who are considered on the forefront of technological advancement in the health-care industry.
ChenMed is a Miami Gardens, Fla.-based medical, consulting and technology company focused on improving care for seniors. Denver, Colo.-based iTriage developed a health-care application for smartphones and tablets, which helps consumers identify their symptoms, locate appropriate care and book an appointment. The iTriage application was founded by two emergency medicine physicians and has been downloaded 9.5 million times.
Obama praised the work iTriage has done in a speech Monday from the White House on ways private-sector entrepreneurs have made government bureaucratic processes more efficient. "As anyone knows, dealing with the federal government is not always high-technology, and it's not always user-friendly," Obama says. For his second term, he's asked his Cabinet to establish a management agenda that will utilize entrepreneurial innovations and technologies more aggressively than in the past.
"We're going to continue to adopt good ideas from the private sector," Obama says. "And I'm going to be asking more people around the country -- more inventors and entrepreneurs and visionaries -- to sign up to serve. We've got to have the brightest minds to help solve our biggest challenges."