United States state and local agencies drive Health Information Technology initiatives

Reston 27 July 2005The federal government has awarded over 100 grants worth $139 million to 38 state governments to implement federal Health Information Technology (HIT) initiatives over the next four years, according to a report released by INPUT, the expert in government market intelligence. The primary purpose of these initiatives is to promote the movement toward health care information automation and to generate electronic health records, which will be shared nationwide.

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With a considerable portion of the work to be outsourced, information technology vendors will see more opportunities at the state level to aid with consolidation, records management, and federal compliance issues. Several private organisations, such as the eHealth Initiative and Connecting for Health, are also working to improve the quality and safety of health care by supporting HIT.

"Between federal and public-private funding, vendors will have many opportunities to not only execute these initiatives but also to develop the programmes", stated Jennifer Geurin, senior analyst, federal agency profiles at INPUT. "State governments are looking at such organisations in the private sector for thought-leadership. Information technology vendors have the unique opportunity to actually shape the adoption of these initiatives as they move forward."

With the release of the Department of Health and Human Services' Summary of Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), state and local governments recognize their importance in the governance of NHIN. Interested parties suggested that state governments participate in the following activities:

  • Establishing the framework and architecture for NHIN operations
  • Imposing policies for public health departments to utilize NHIN for surveillance and reporting
  • Appointing representatives to be on a national board of governors to oversee the network
  • Setting local implementation and auditing requirements
  • Measuring and reporting particular types of information at the state level
  • Providing incentives for NHIN participation or conferring other benefits

"Successful completion of the HIT agenda requires collaboration among federal, state, and private sector stakeholders", stated Jennifer Geurin. "As HIT becomes increasingly more important to improving America's health care system, we expect funding for these initiatives to continue to grow in both the short- and long-term."

INPUT is specialized in government market intelligence. Established in 1974, INPUT helps vendors manage and grow their government business and helps government organisations work with vendors. Over 1000 members varying in size from small specialized companies to the largest systems integrators use INPUT's high quality subscription information and powerful information management tools.

INPUT's complete State Health Information Technology Initiatives INPUT/Output report is available to clients of INPUT's Information Services subscription programme. For more information on the subscription programme, you can visit the INPUT Web site.


Leslie Versweyveld

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