Ever on the cutting edge of health IT, physicians are a driving force behind new technologies. That’s because they understand the value of tools that can advance patient care and enhance practice efficiencies. The problem arises when physicians are left out of the development of products and regulations. During National Health IT Week, AMA Wire® takes a look at how physicians are making sure the next generation of health IT is built with physicians and patients’ needs in mind.

Here are four important ways physicians are molding the future of health IT:

Whether they’re full-time entrepreneurs or clinicians who have good ideas, physicians are taking charge of developing new technologies for health care. At Henry Ford Health System, for instance, physicians have access to three different programs that help them take their nascent digital ideas and shape them into bold new technologies that can improve health care delivery and reduce costs. AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, recently acted as a judge in the eHealth Initiative’s iTHRIVE Challenge, which received 60 pitches from entrepreneurs. Read more about some of these technologies that range from mobile apps for surgical teams to remote tracking of patient weight. Meanwhile, physicians who have been successful in developing their health IT ideas are sharing insights with other physicians at special seminars taking place in cities around the country. The first two AMA-hosted events were held in Chicago and San Francisco.

At MATTER, a new health technology incubator in the heart of Chicago, physicians have a special space called the AMA Interaction Studio, where they can network and share ideas as new technologies are developed. Here, physicians can connect directly with the innovators behind tomorrow’s health IT, and entrepreneurs can tap the minds of the people who care for patients every day.

Physicians have a keen eye for technologies that can help them in their practice of medicine. Physicians who care for patients in rural locations, for instance, are finding new ways to improve their patients’ health outcomes on an ongoing basis. Learn more about how a group in Mississippi is using tablets to keep patients with diabetes in good health.

Meanwhile, medical educators are making a point of teaching health IT to physicians in training so they’re fully prepared to thrive in tomorrow’s medical practice, ensuring the best outcomes for their patients. In fact, building a solid health IT foundation in medical school is an important component of the work of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. See several examples of what this looks like in practice.

While electronic health records (EHR) were among the technologies physicians eagerly adopted when they first came out, unrealistic meaningful use regulations have stifled innovations and left physicians with problematic technology.

But even here, physicians are looking to the future. They’ve taken it into their own hands to call on the federal government to reevaluate the meaningful use program and focus on initiatives that will improve EHR technology to better help all patients and physicians. Learn more about the AMA’s framework for EHR usability and the SMART project.

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