In testimony before the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Subcommittee on Standards, Carol Diamond, MD, MPH discusses the importance of setting clear health objectives for the federal investments in health IT. The testimony also emphasizes the importance of adopting a basic set of standards that can evolve over time, enabling information to move when and where it is needed to authorized individuals, the need for a comprehensive set of privacy policies, and accountability for results.
The goal of health IT must be to achieve real health improvements, create jobs, and reduce unnecessary costs. It should not be primarily the creation of standards or the certification of software. Rather, standards and certification should support measurable health improvements. Health improvements are not achieved by the mere installation of software; they are achieved through the effective use of information for better decision-making.