Healthcare in the 21st Century

Peggy Salvatore, MBA
Healthcare writer, health system instructional designer

Electronic patient record systems aren’t about the electronic record systems, of course, they are about the patients. It’s the people – the patients who seek care from the millions of doctors, nurses and staff – who are the reason why we need to have an interoperable health IT network. The regulations, mandates, rules and incentive payments will drive providers to make it happen sooner rather than later, but patients will ultimately get the real value out of the system when it is complete. Sometimes, in the thick of deciphering the laws, we can lose sight of the end game. So, let’s a take a moment to reflect on why we are here and where we are going.

For now, the federal government is directing this huge, national endeavor to put a workable system in place. It is helping to fund the technology and the training; it is putting the information network in place. This undertaking is so massive, nothing less than a coordinated national effort can achieve it with any amount of reasonable speed and efficiency. And no one less than the provider at the point of care has the ability to pull it through on the ground and make it work. People and processes, top to bottom, and the technology to support them – this is the vision for healthcare in the 21st Century.

Peggy Salvatore writes training for the healthcare industry. She developed Health System Ed, a basic health IT training program to advance the uptake of electronic patient records. In addition to the basic e-learning program available through HITECH Answers, Health System Ed can be customized for specific environments and applications. She can be contacted at: