Just days after I remarked how the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality had brought back its advertising campaign aimed at educating the general public about patient safety, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has launched its own form of consumer outreach: HealthIT.gov. According to ONC:
Health is personal. It’s personal for the parent who has a child with asthma.It’s personal for the patient with a new cancer diagnosis. And it’s personal for the doctor who is responsible for caring for them.
At its core, HealthIT.gov is about patients, and it’s about helping them get the information they need, connecting them to resources that empower them to make changes, and ultimately, improving the nation’s health—one person at a time.
Whether you are a parent who is wondering how an electronic health record (EHR) will affect her family’s privacy or a provider who is overwhelmed by the idea of transitioning to EHRs, HealthIT.gov has the resources to help answer your questions.
The site, aimed at consumers and healthcare providers with questions about the EHR incentive program, apparently does not replace the one for “insiders,” http://healthit.hhs.gov, much like the consumer-facing Medicare.gov is distinct from the main CMS site. In fact, the link to HealthIT.gov on the ONC home page calls the new site “a website to preview our upcoming campaign: Putting the I in Health IT.”
Frankly, it’s about time. The public is utterly in the dark about this whole thing.