August 18, 2009 By News Report
"The HITECH Act effectively blended health policy with technology policy, and state CIOs are uniquely positioned to help shape these policies in the future to align with their state's enterprise architecture." -- South Dakota CIO Otto Doll (pictured) head of NASCIO's Health IT Working Group.
Both President Obama and former President Bush endorsed the computerization of health records as a way to reduce errors and save lives. Through both administrations, state CIOs were involved in state-level Health IT efforts. Now, with part of the ARRA funds allocated to health IT through the HITECH Act, the game has changed.
As pointed out by the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) money is now available for health IT but with strings attached, and state CIOs have a role to play in the new federal initiatives. "The passage of the HITECH Act essentially merged health policy with technology policy across state government and state CIOs must play a key role in HIE development and implementation," says NASCIO's new publication HITECH in the States: Action List for State CIOs.
CIOs can have a significant impact on health IT initiatives, says the publication, by:
"State CIOs are key stakeholders within state health information exchange," said South Dakota CIO Otto Doll, chair of NASCIO's Health IT Working Group. "The HITECH Act effectively blended health policy with technology policy, and state CIOs are uniquely positioned to help shape these policies in the future to align with their state's enterprise architecture. The health community sees the necessity for modernizing healthcare through information technology," said Doll. "Now CIOs must be involved to properly align IT to achieve administrative efficiency and improved quality of service in healthcare."
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.