Governors prepare for health information exchanges at semi-annual conference

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Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R)
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R)
A group of the nation's governors and state officials has released a guide for state implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). McKnight's will host a free Web seminar on electronic health records later this month.

The committee, The State Alliance for c-Health, outlined a number of preparatory steps states can take to meet the requirements of HITECH, which was passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earlier this year. Among their recommendations: establish a state leadership office to manage the different phases of health information exchange (HIE) implementation; determine the style of HIE best suited for the state-government-led, private-sector-led or public-utility; and prepare for information privacy measures.

HITECH calls for states to adopt HIEs and widespread electronic medical record use over the next five years. The State Alliance for e-Health was created by the National Governor's Association, and is co-chaired by NGA president, Gov. Jim Douglas (R) of Vermont. The Alliance holds its semi-annual meeting today in Vermont. On August 20 at 2 p.m. EST, McKnight's will host a free online webcast to further educate long-term care providers on the pros, cons, benefits and impact on the bottom line of electronic health records. For more information, or to register online, visit www.mcknights.com.