I am a skeptical person by nature. It turns out that has served me well in my field. For over 25 years I have listened to people proclaim how information technology will transform health care in the near future.
Usually I am the one trying to temper expectations. But, today I found myself claiming that we are on the verge of some really interesting things in healthcare technology. For a long time we have lacked the standards and networks that exist in in the financial sector. But, I believe we are close to implementing early versions of these at the state level. This is due to the federal stimulus funds and the hard work of state agencies partnering with the private sector.
Some aspects of the meaningful use are frustrating. I believe we are still chasing a list of functionality that does not have a clear line of sight to specific and prioritized goals. I once heard this referred to as planning by the cover of Modern Healthcare.
But, I believe 5 years from now we will see interoperable heathcare systems at the state level. I am optimistic.