September 30, 2009 By News Report
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a report on how health information technology improved health care in the Columbia Basin Health Association (CBHA) in Othello, Wash. CBHA used its EHR system to better track 1,302 diabetic patients. CBHA monitored whether patients received recommended exams and then provided feedback to health care providers on their performance. In January 2008, only 31 percent of patients at CBHA had received a foot exam and only 37 percent had received an eye exam during the previous year. By June 2008, 86 percent of patients had received a foot exam and 63 percent had received an eye exam over the previous year. Since CBHA's implementation of EHRs, the community health center has consistently ranked above the 95th percentile nationally in total medical and dental team productivity, according to a release from Sebelius' Office.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.