Moving forward, slowly

DALLAS—I’m taking every opportunity at the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems physician IT symposium, a pre-conference program at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting here, to discuss my view that there is a disconnect between healthcare quality advocates and technology gurus.

As I mentioned in a recent post, while HIMSS is convening in Dallas this week, the healthcare division of the American Society for Quality also is meeting—in New Orleans. The December conference of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement had a minuscule IT presence.

I’m now receiving word, however, that some people do get it.

A number of people here at the physician symposium report that about 10 physicians held a roundtable discussion at the recent World Health Care Congress in Washington
with national health IT czar David Brailer, M.D., and spoke about quality-related issues. If anyone has details, please do e-mail me.

On Feb. 1, the National Quality Forum, headed by Ken Kizer, M.D., announced plans to establish a healthcare technology section for its members to address the role of technology in quality improvement. The new section will have a seat on the NQF’s board.

“Although we recognize that technology by itself is not a panacea for healthcare quality improvement, it is clear that greater—and better—use of technology is part of the solution of the quality problem,” Kizer said in a press release.

Kizer has a history of marrying technology and quality; he is a former under secretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs.