ONC coordinator sees the next step of EHR implementation as a difficult period

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Despite the increased use of electronic health records (EHRs), Farzad Mostashari, who was recently appointed to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), predicts that the industry could be heading toward a tough period, HealthCare IT News reports.

Mostashari said that the ONC has been working over the past two years on programs such as the Medicare and Medicaid incentive program, regional extension centers and health information technology (HIT) community college training programs. However, now these program are passed the introduction stage and are embarking on the developing and implementation step.

As a result, he suggests that doctors and healthcare providers look at the adoption of EHRs as a marathon and not a sprint, according to the news source. Furthermore, he advises them to set up their own goals within the parameters of the overall achievement of implementing and using the technology.

The role of health information management degree holders have become more important as healthcare providers switch from paper records to the electronic format.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities for computer and information systems managers are expected to increase by about 17 percent over the next seven years.