Groups Call for Increased Use of IT in U.S. Health Care System
A coalition of government agencies and private health organizations on Tuesday called for increased use of information technology in the health care sector at a meeting of the eHealth Initiative and the Health Legacy Partnership. Conference attendees said better use of existing technology could reduce costs and improve health outcomes nationwide (Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, 10/30). "This is the Information Age, the beginning of the 21st century, and yet we have not addressed the problem of standardizing the collection and sharing of health data electronically, so that patients and clinicians will have the information to determine which treatments work best for specific conditions," Joseph Kanter, chair of the Joseph H. Kanter Family Foundation, one of the event's sponsors, said. Speakers at the conference also advocated the development of a national health information infrastructure capable of supporting access to patients' electronic medical records from any location in the nation. Although similar systems exist on a regional level, the U.S. health care system has yet to replicate them on a national level, according to Janet Marchibroda, CEO of the eHealth Initiative. HHS, the CDC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also sponsored the meeting (eHealth Initiative release, 10/29).
For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.