Editor's Letter: Our new era of forest-friendly growth

By Tom Sullivan
10:30 AM

"Things do not change," Henry David Thoreau wrote. "We change." And with this Government Health IT issue, we are sprouting upward from our print magazine roots and blossoming into the esteemed ranks of Web-based healthcare and technology publications.

Misconstrue this not for a withering. Pruning the dead-tree edition both makes it simpler for you to access our content and also enables us to better serve you with even more engaging context-rich stories, news, features, interviews, and opinions – covering the people, policies, and technologies that essentially form the underpinnings of future healthcare in America.

Indeed, strong and healthy, the growing Government Health IT Web site will boast more resources than ever before.

Stalwart Senior Editor Mary Mosquera will continue contributing reporting and sharing her insights, of course, while more experts, such as Patty Enrado, Eric Wicklund, Jeff Rowe, Frank Irving, and Carl Natale will regularly populate the Web site with unique and specific takes on their particular areas of expertise, those being NwHIN, telehealth, the HITECH Act, EHRs, and ICD-10, respectively.

The latter might frighten some health IT pros just a bit. Shivers up the spine ... rekindling forgotten Y2K fires ... an inescapable clock ticking somewhere under the floor? Well, that’s ICD-10 haunting.

Not everything in this issue is as fear-fraught as an unfunded mandate to comply with the coming code sets. The CDC’s imminent biosurveillance initiative is poised to shed the last decade of anti-terror trappings and harness health IT for analysis and prediction of population health outcomes; biosurveillance becomes preventative care for citizens. ACOs hold great promise, too, despite the immediate challenges. The same can be said of HIEs, many of which are still in development, the model’s sustainability under question; The 5 roadblocks to HIEs.

Looking to provide answers to the masses, ONC this month is embarking on a patient engagement campaign. Education and engagement are also at the heart of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) project currently underway at both the DoD and the VA, among other places. A common thread between our two stories: Helping patients get more involved in their own care, with both technology and information, can ultimately make for a healthier America.

Likewise, our transformation into a forest-friendly 21st Century Web-based Government Health IT, a boon in itself, is merely the start of how we’ll now be better able to deliver you, readers, our content right where you want it, be that at the Web site proper, via our e-newsletters, or on a variety of mobile devices that can be carried anywhere – even, should it suit you, deep into the woods.

Thoreau would likely appreciate the implications.