Health Policy

Access to information: Core to Healthcare

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From across the country the State government officials will focus on improving information technology in the health sector, at the State Alliance for e-Health’s semi-annual meeting in Burlington. Meanwhile, already there are present the ;local health officials who are working to implement new technology to improve safety and lower the cost of care. The State Alliance for e-Health, created by the National Governors Association and composed of governors, state legislators, attorney generals and state commissioners, maintains that improving health information technology (IT) and health information exchange is critical to ensuring a health care system that is ‘affordable, effective, safe and transparent.’ Jim Douglas, Chairman of the NGA and co-chairman of the State Alliance, told that the meeting to be held is to focus on the new report published by the State Alliance, that aims to help states begin instituting the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

It was told by the Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, Co-Chairman of the State Alliance, that states can have a large impact on improving the country’s health system. The State Alliance was created by the NGA Center for Best Practices in 2006 to address the unique role states can play in facilitating adoption of health IT and HIE. The HITECH Act, enacted as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, expands the role of states in fostering health information exchange and adoption of electronic health records over the next five years. In addition, some private medical practices are beginning to implement a system administered by Vermont Information Technology Leaders, or VITL, that allows them to exchange data with SVHC electronically. Other safety and cost saving measures are also being worked upon by the health corporation.

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