The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) is a legislative ingenuity that improves the quality healthcare services (ALN, 2010). The major objective of this act is to initiate provision of standard healthcare facilities and equipment for through provision of Medicare and Medicaid incentives to eligible healthcare professionals and institutions. To exhibit eligibility for the incentives, there has to be massive demonstration of meaningful use of standard electronic health records. Eligible persons and institutions should also have shown willingness to adopt innovation through the use of strategic upgrades of health recording technology (Williams, 2010). This also promotes the use of information is an appropriate manner.
Medicaid and Medicare electronic Health records incentive initiatives will promote the provision of financial incentives and bonuses for portrayal of meaning use of electronic health records technology. This is through the constructive use of certified electronic health records. This is measured by the use of thresholds that are related to various forms of data. This ranges from structured data, patient information and the healthcare records (ALN, 2010). The meaningful use incentive programs include three stages that are progressive. Advancement from one stage to another requires increased participation from both the in order to acquire legibility among the professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals.
HITECH legislation has a positive impact on the healthcare organizations. This is through improving patient safety and increasing the quality of the services. One of the issues that are of critical concern to the legislation is the safeguarding patient information privacy and confidentiality. This is a concern that has assisted in promoting professional ethical and moral standards. This is through regulating the access of patient information. This is attained through the provisions in the legislation that allow for auditing of the health records so as to ascertain the level of security of the systems. Breach of the set standards leads to penalization of the concerned facilities and authorities (Williams, 2010).
The HITECH legislation has left a big positive impact on the healthcare of the organizations. This is through the evident improvement of the quality and safety of healthcare operations. This is through a significant reduction of healthcare disparities. This has also improved the level of coordination among various players in healthcare. This is through improving the relational and communication platforms among the related healthcare institutions and professionals. This is very essential in the enhancement of public and population health. It has also strengthened the enforcement of both criminal and civil enforcement of the HIPAA regulations (Brown, 2010).
In the article, ‘The Final Rules for Meaningful Use of EHRs’, Bob Brown gives clear illustrations on the importance of meaningful use and the standards used as the criteria for eligibility ascertainment. Brown sets focus on the three stages of meaningful use as the realistic measure towards establishing reliability and compliance. This also gives the minimum performance criterion that is used to set the standards and for eligibility (Brown, 2010). According to Brown the first stage of meaningful use concentrates on collection of electronic data in formats that are coded (Brown, 2010). Second stage two is the implementation of structured data exchange initiatives and progressive improvement on the facilities that are related to healthcare procedures. In the third stage of meaningful use, application of the use of sophisticated and advanced clinical support initiatives and decision support information systems.
Therefore, HITECH is one of the most practical and realistic models that has been adopted to enhance the improvement of healthcare services. The design of this model is strategically formulated to enhance progressive and gradual entry into the system in order to enhance flexibility and continuity of the processes (ALN, 2010). This also gives room for cultural and structural re-alignments so as to enhance smooth transition from one stage to another and promote continuity.