Health information technology is transforming and will continue to transform health and healthcare in America.
We are on the cusp of enormous change. The level of scientific knowledge we will discover over the next 25 years will be four to seven times greater than the last 25 years. Combine this fact with the economic engines revving in China and India, we know that our current path is unsustainable. Look at the American manufacturing sector, particularly the pain of the automakers, where they spend more dollars per car in healthcare than they do in steel. This is the future of all sectors of the economy if we do not change.
The outlook for the federal government is no better. Healthcare consumes 26% of all federal spending and growing, dwarfing every other priority. The looming retirement of the Baby Boomers and their entrance into Medicare will call for painful choices tomorrow if we do nothing today. With continued budget deficits running hundreds of billions of dollars every year, despite the recent "success" of cutting the deficit in half, we will pay a severe price if we do not transform health and healthcare.
Thankfully today we can see the glimmerings of a brighter future. With momentum building for healthcare consumerism, chronic care management tools, and the adoption of health information technology, we know what that brighter future will look like: 100% insurance coverage; consumers will be empowered; quality and price information will be readily available; early detection and prevention will create a culture of health; reimbursement will be driven by outcomes; and the use of interoperable technology will be ubiquitous. We will have built what we call a 21st Century Intelligent Health System.
Change of this magnitude is never easy. But the level of difficulty should not dissuade us from progress, because in the end our goal is a 21st Century Intelligent Health System--a fully interoperable, consumer-centered healthcare system that saves lives and saves money for all Americans. This system will improve individual health, reduce costs, and build a brighter future for all Americans.
And to get there, the widespread adoption of health information technology is essential.