Health care information about individual patients is one of the least automated aspects of the U.S. economy. Promoting greater access to secure, easily shared electronic health records for all Americans has strong support from the Administration and both parties in Congress.
Widely used electronic records would allow health care providers and patients to access information about patients at the site of care from a variety of sources and settings. Implemented wisely, information technology can improve patient safety, prevent unnecessary tests and procedures, increase quality and perhaps even reduce costs. It would also allow aggregated health information to be used for public health surveillance, quality reporting, adverse event studies and other public interest purposes.
What are the latest practical approaches being implemented in the field today to connect disparate pieces of our vast health care sectors for information sharing? What is necessary to achieve broad data exchange while protecting patient privacy and improving consumer choice and control? What are the roles of the public and private sectors in identifying, adopting and implementing standards to shape this powerful new infrastructure? What investment is necessary and how should it be financed?
To help address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored a May 9, 2005 briefing, in cooperation with the Markle Foundation. The briefing featured a panel of distinguished speakers: Newt Gingrich, founder of Center for Health Transformation and former Speaker of the House; Carol Diamond, managing director of the Markle Foundation’s health program; Colin Evans, director of policy and standards for Intel’s digital health group; and Micky Tripathi, president of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. Stephen Downs of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Zoe Baird of the Markle Foundation made brief remarks, and Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)