Patient Advocates Celebrate Five Years of HITECH

Five years after the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law, one patient advocacy organization said health IT tools have become essential to health-care reform thanks to HITECH.

Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a statement that the widespread use of electronic health records by providers made possible by the HITECH Act’s Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs are “helping to facilitate much-needed culture change by empowering patients.”

“By facilitating access to their own health information and easy, electronic communication with their providers, health IT is enabling patients and families to become partners in their health and care, improving our entire system,” Ness said.

Ness said more work should be done to “fully implement health IT in ways that help our health care system meet the needs of patients, caregivers and providers.” The HITECH Act was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  

Ness’s statement is at: