In the latest example of Congress responding to increasingly loud industry criticism of the EHR incentive programs, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) announced last week the formation of a working group to identify ways to improve EHR.

The announcement of the formation of the working group stated that it will begin with bipartisan staff meetings, with “participation from health professionals, health information technology developers, relevant government agencies, and other experts specializing in health information technology.” Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) summarized some of the common criticism of the EHR programs and outlined the goals of the working group as follows:

After $28 billion in taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing electronic health records, ‎doctors don’t like these electronic medical record systems and say they disrupt workflow, interrupt the doctor-patient relationship and haven’t been worth the effort. The goal of this working group is to identify the five or six things we can do to help make the failed promise of electronic health records something that physicians and providers look forward to instead of something they endure.

We will continue to monitor the working group’s progress and update the blog with any notable developments.