FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 17, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health today released the state Health Information Technology Plan to implement health information technology (health IT) and health information exchange throughout Connecticut.
“Health information technology will play a central role in health care reform, and provides opportunities to reduce costs, increase quality and safety, and improve access to care,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “This plan positions Connecticut well to maximize federal funding opportunities in support of health IT. It also gives us a road map to a better and more efficient health care system, where health care providers have timely access to secure and patient information. The result will be better decisions and improved patient outcomes.”
The health IT plan was developed through an extensive information gathering process involving many of the key stakeholders in Connecticut and provides a roadmap to transform the state healthcare system. The plan includes recommendations on the implementation of health IT and information exchange in the state, descriptions of current regional and statewide approaches to using health information exchange, and an overview of the technical standards for health IT established by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.
The Federal Administration and United States Congress have put health information technology front and center in the healthcare reform debate, by providing billions of dollars for states to support local health IT efforts. Broad use of health IT will help address many issues facing health care today including health quality, medical errors, health care costs, administrative efficiencies, paperwork, and access to affordable care.
The passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic Development Act within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriates a minimum of $20 billion to be used over the next six years to encourage health IT and health information exchange adoption.
Recently, legislation was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly naming the Department of Public Health as the lead health information exchange organization for the state and establishing a health information technology and exchange advisory committee to examine and identify specific ways to improve and promote health information exchange in the state. The committee will be a diverse public and private partnership with members appointed by designated elected officials.
To view the state Health Information Technology Plan online, please visit the Department of Public Health website at www.ct.gov/dph.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.