August 8, 2007 By News Report
Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today announced the launch of a comprehensive health information technology program, part of Governor Eliot Spitzer's agenda to advance patient-centered care and enable improvements in health care quality, affordability and outcomes for each person, family and business in New York.
An initial $106 million will be invested in the health care community during 2007-2008 to support the implementation of health IT tools to allow portability of patients' medical records and new tools to assess and target improvements in health care quality.
The commissioner has charged his new Office of Health Information Technology Transformation with coordinating health IT programs and policies across the public and private health care sectors. These programs and policies will establish the health IT infrastructure and capacity to support clinicians in quality-based reimbursement programs and new models of care delivery.
"Our goal is a health care system oriented around the patient, with strong privacy protections, reporting on quality of care and outcomes," Daines said. "The opportunities for improving health care quality, affordability and outcomes are limited by New York's paper-based, error-prone and fragmented health care system. Health IT is part of our strategy to help improve health care quality for all New Yorkers."
Daines added, "As a past president of a large urban hospital, I've seen the technology advances that have streamlined billing and personnel management, but what's been missing is using information technology on behalf of patients, including measuring the quality of care provided so that we can improve it. Doctors and nurses need facts at their fingertips as they care for their patients. This will help prevent medical errors, and I believe this will serve as a model for other states to follow."
DOH's effort is part of Governor Spitzer's 'Patients First' health care agenda to improve the quality of health care as it shifts from institution-based care to community care. The following key objectives will drive DOH's investment in a community-based health information infrastructure, including:
To kick off this effort, DOH has set initial activities to advance a statewide interoperable health information and quality infrastructure, as follows:
A strategic health IT implementation plan. The plan -- a guide for implementing an interoperable health information infrastructure in New York -- will be submitted to Daines within 90 days and available publicly on the DOH Web site, nyhealth.gov. The plan, to be updated regularly, will include key clinical, patient, technical, organizational, financial and policy components
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