Wider use of health information technology has been touted as one way to improve the quality of care and reduce medical errors, while reducing the continued rapid growth of health care spending. Providers across the country are already adopting new health IT systems, and many patients have welcomed the trend. Other providers say they can’t afford the large upfront costs involved, and some analysts question whether health IT will save any money at all.
What are the latest developments in private-sector systems linking providers across different health care settings? What should the federal government’s role be in identifying barriers and opportunities for the health IT systems, in the face of privacy and security concerns? What are analysts saying about projected costs and savings associated with the implementation and widespread use of electronic medical records?
These questions and others were addressed at a September 16 luncheon briefing sponsored by the journal Health Affairs, with assistance by the Alliance for Health Reform. The session included four leaders in the health IT area: David Brailer, national coordinator for health information technology at the Department of Health and Human Services; Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Richard Hillestad, senior systems analyst at RAND; and George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente. Health Affairs’ John Iglehart will moderate. A copy of the latest Health Affairs issue, focusing on health information technology, was available to all attending. The issue contains articles on this topic by panelists Hillestad and Halvorson, among others.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)