eHI report shows growth in health data exchanges

WASHINGTON – The nation’s healthcare IT chief, Robert M. Kolodner, MD, says a new report released by eHealth Initiative shows tangible evidence of healthcare IT progress.

Kolodner and other leaders at a briefing last month commented on eHI’s “Fifth Annual Survey of Health Information Exchange at the State and Local Levels,” a poll of 130 community-based initiatives in 48 states, which revealed significant advances in healthcare information exchanges.

Healthcare IT has “without question” changed and will continue to change over time, Kolodner said. The use of electronic health records by providers has become more routine, he said, and personal health records are emerging.

Kolodner said the federal government needs to continue to drive healthcare IT adoption and interoperability. Healthcare IT needs to be combined with other aspects of reform, such as those promoted by the HHS value-driven healthcare initiative, he said.

Janet Marchibroda, CEO of the eHealth Initiative, said this year’s survey shows a 30 percent increase in the number of operational HIEs over last year.

“We are making a lot of progress and I’m very excited,” she said. “We’re seeing some real impact and getting some results.”

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