National Health IT Week: Supporting Healthy Communities

This year the theme of National Health IT Week is focused on driving better health outcomes and equity in our communities.  The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), with its broad membership that spans across health sectors, has called for collaboration throughout the private sector to ease barriers to data flow.  Ensuring every party involved in managing a patient or population’s health has access to timely, accurate data is key to success.   HLC is able to look at the healthcare system through a wide lens, and recently produced reports that focus on improving population health and utilizing health information technology to raise the quality of care for all.

Earlier this year HLC partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to develop a report entitled, “Advancing Interoperability, Information Sharing, and Data Access: Improving Health and Healthcare for Americans.”  It discusses the importance of data interoperability and how health outcomes and costs can be significantly improved, while enhancing the patient experience, through effectively sharing health data within interoperable systems.  Data interoperability also opens the door to new advances in biomedical and technological innovations, elevating population health.

HLC’s High-Need Playbook touches on how interoperability benefits patients who suffer from multiple chronic conditions.  Such patients often consult multiple providers and need their healthcare information seamlessly transferred to each provider so that they can deliver the highest quality of care.  HLC has stated that it opposes all forms of information blocking within the exchange of healthcare information and endorses the flow of information across all entities.  It stands firm on the belief that interoperability efforts should be led by the private sector with a limited role for government.

The playbook also notes that persons with chronic conditions or functional limitations are especially vulnerable during disasters.  The use of health IT is essential to ensuring patients can receive care no matter their location.  While certain health services might be out of reach for those who need medical assistance, reliable data flow allows each piece of the health system, from manufacturing to care delivery, to work together and communicate so that every need is met as soon as possible.  HLC’s members across all sectors have committed to taking a leadership role on disaster preparedness to protect the safety of patients following devastating events.

Health IT has the power to change the health of whole communities, and that is why HLC is a proud partner of National Health IT Week.