BREDESEN LEADS EFFORT TO MAP STATE’S HEALTH CARE INFORMATION HIGHWAY
Nashville – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced a grant that will help determine how well-equipped Tennessee is to connect into a statewide eHealth network. The $72,000 grant is awarded to the Tennessee chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (TNHIMSS), which will work with providers and other groups to perform a health care technology readiness assessment.
“While we’re improving access to health insurance through Cover Tennessee, the eHealth initiative focuses on increasing the quality of care available to all Tennesseans,” Bredesen said. “Once we determine how much of this information highway is already constructed, we can build out the remainder of the network so any health care provider will have access to a patient’s medical history at the point of care.”
TNHIMSS and other health information management groups will team with hospitals, doctors and others to conduct an extensive county-by-county survey to identify internet connectivity and the scope of technologies that are currently in use or under development among providers. The survey will begin November 1, 2006 and a report is due to the Governor’s eHealth Council by April 2007.
“This brings us closer to the day when Tennessee patients will be able to rely on any health care professional to have quick access to their medical history,” said Council chairman Antoine Agassi. “For providers, that means having a full understanding of the patient’s condition, easily accessible, without expending time and resources.”
The Governor’s eHealth Council was formed to coordinate ehealth initiatives across the state to create electronic medical records. Because of its early efforts, the state last month received a national eHealth award for advancing efforts toward electronic health information exchange. Bredesen was singled out for his ongoing role in developing health information technology initiatives to improve the quality of health care delivered to Tennesseans.
“It is an honor for the Governor to ask us to coordinate this initiative with the other health care associations across the state,” said Scott Vogel, President of TNHIMSS. “The health care community is very fortunate to have a Governor who understands health care and who understands how the right technology tools can improve health and reduce costs."