Information Technology in Health Care
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Health Policy, Professor Swain
Health care reform has reemerged as a policy imperative. Congressional discussions regarding sizable federal investments in health information technology (IT) infrastructure have revitalized the vision of health IT as a critical component of accelerating improvements in the quality and value of health care for all Americans. Policymakers will be challenged to link investments in the health information infrastructure to the objectives of health care reform. The purpose of this paper is to articulate on why it is important to increase ...view middle of the document...
Competitive fear also slowed the growth of HIEs, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change, which reported that HIEs had not yet evolved into sophisticated data management platforms. Health Industry Insights (HII), a healthcare research arm of IDC, recommended that states take a major role in facilitating the development of a National Health Information Network (NHIN) and in closing the quality gaps among HIEs and RHIOs.
Conversely, 2008 also saw positive reports on the impact of HIEs and RHIOs. HIEs can lower care costs and improve safety, according to a survey of 42 HIEs conducted by the e-Health Initiative (EHI). Close to 70 percent of groups surveyed said HIEs could cut healthcare costs, while another 50 percent reported that HIE participation helped reduce medication errors and improve outcomes (Hurd, 2009).
Also in 2008, three quarters of U.S. states indicated that they had already started developing some form of HIE, according to the State-Level HIE Consensus Projects, fueled in part by a larger push for healthcare reform, quality measurement and pay for performance. States including Utah, Nebraska, South Carolina and Louisiana have championed interoperable systems for sharing information among payers, providers and consumers (Hurd, 2009).
The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced that the first healthcare organizations are beginning the certification phase of the Common Security Framework (CSF). In addition, HITRUST is experiencing a significant increase in licenses of the Common Security Framework across all segments of the healthcare industry: health plans, providers, pharmacies, data exchanges and service providers. Besides providing prescriptive guidance and greater efficiencies for the implementation of information security and privacy programs, motivation-driving adoption of the framework includes business partner compliance, health information exchanges, HIPAA compliance and the move to protect Electronic Health Records as part of the HITECH Act (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA) (Health Information Trust Alliance, 2009).
The HITRUST Common Security Framework is becoming the de facto approach to responsibly and practically addressing information security in the healthcare industry. More information on Qualified CSF Resources can be found at. HITRUST The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) was born out of the belief that information security should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption and utilization of health information technologies and exchanges. This, in turn, is critical to realizing the related promise of quality improvement and cost containment in America's healthcare system. HITRUST is collaborating with healthcare, business, technology, and information security leaders to establish a certifiable framework that can be used by any and all organizations that create, access, store or exchange personal health and...