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National eHealth Collaborative Launched

Friday, January 9, 2009 General News J E 4
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Former American Health Information Community brings together public-private sector members to achieve nationwide electronic health information network



WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The National eHealth Collaborative, formerly AHIC Successor, Inc., was officially launched today in Washington, D.C. The National eHealth Collaborative is a public-private partnership dedicated to the creation of a secure, interoperable, nationwide health information network that will advance the American public's interest in health and improve the quality, safety, efficiency and accessibility of healthcare. The Collaborative builds on the accomplishments of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a federal advisory committee established in 2005, and AHIC Successor, Inc., founded in 2008 to transition AHIC's accomplishments into a new non-profit membership organization, now known as the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC).



The Collaborative's membership and board represent virtually all stakeholders whose participation is needed to drive the rapid development and adoption of an interoperable health system. The list of participating stakeholders includes federal and state agencies, health systems, payers, health professionals, medical centers, community hospitals, patient advocates, major employers, non-profit health organizations, commercial technology providers, and others.



The National eHealth Collaborative brings together these stakeholders to accelerate development of the health IT systems, infrastructure, standards, protections, participation, and education needed to create a secure, interoperable, nationwide electronic health information network. The Collaborative provides a needed and credible forum for stakeholders to transparently vet and prioritize national advancement efforts and leverages the value, resources and best practices offered by both the public and private sectors. The Collaborative works in close partnership with the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), and the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), as well as other health and IT member organizations.



In December, under the auspices of AHIC Successor, Inc., the group elected John Tooker, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Physicians, to serve as Chair of the 2009 Board of Directors. Kevin Hutchison, President and CEO of Prematics, Inc., was elected Vice Chair, and Thomas Fritz, M.A., M.P.A., CEO of Inland Northwest Health Services, will serve as Treasurer. Laura Miller, M.P.A., FACHE, National eHealth Collaborative Interim Executive Director, will act as Secretary. The group also elected several committee chairs, whose role will be to drive efforts and progress in various areas specific to achieving its shared mission. (Complete Board list follows with committee chairs noted.)



"As the National eHealth Collaborative continues to guide and drive the most important transformation of healthcare in our nation's history, we are committed to working with all stakeholders to encourage the use of interoperable health IT," said Dr. Tooker, the Chair of the newly announced National eHealth Collaborative Board of Directors. "I am pleased to serve alongside some of the most respected leaders in healthcare and information technology as we work to improve the health and well-being of all Americans through the nationwide exchange of interoperable electronic health information."



Toward that end, representatives of the Collaborative's Board are scheduled to meet with President-elect Obama's transition team on Friday, January 9th, to brief them on the group's efforts and plans. The National eHealth Collaborative will also offer assistance as the new Administration follows through on President-elect Obama's stated commitment to promote the use of electronic health records and health information technologies as part of a national economic stimulus package and comprehensive healthcare reform.



The National eHealth Collaborative intends to work cooperatively and aggressively in the months ahead to accelerate progress on a number of initiatives critical to the achievement of a secure, nationwide electronic health information network, including:





The National eHealth Collaborative is moving rapidly to expand its membership, assuring that all key stakeholders are adequately represented, and will soon call on those stakeholders to participate in committees and workgroups tasked with addressing various barriers to health information technology adoption and use.



About the National eHealth Collaborative

The National eHealth Collaborative (formerly AHIC Successor, Inc.) is a public-private partnership committed to driving the development of a secure, interoperable, nationwide health information system. The National eHealth Collaborative was founded in 2008 to build on and accelerate the accomplishments of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a federally-chartered advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. AHIC Successor, Inc. was established in July 2008, to develop the necessary organizational infrastructure and governance, and to manage the transition to what is now known as National eHealth Collaborative. The National eHealth Collaborative's board and membership are representative of a broad spectrum of stakeholder groups whose participation is needed to drive the rapid development and adoption of a nationwide interoperable electronic health information system, enabling the Collaborative to offer a uniquely balanced perspective and distinct capacity to effect the changes needed to facilitate the secure and reliable exchange of electronic health information nationwide. For more information, please visit www.NationaleHealth.org.



(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/NE56901LOGO )



-- Consistent standards to guide the development, sharing and updating of confidential individualized health information within a secure national network; -- Education, guidance and incentives for widespread adoption of electronic health records by health systems, health professionals and individuals; -- Creation of the secure, interoperable network that enables immediate, consistent, protected access to relevant personal health information at the point of care, anywhere and anytime it is needed; -- Collaboration among a wide variety of institutions and organizations to enable broad, efficient, seamless and confidential exchange of secure, individualized health information--leading to system-wide improvements in health outcomes, access, and quality of care, as well as reduced costs over time; and -- Partnership with members of the Nationwide Health Information Collaborative and others to develop a governance plan for the Nationwide Health Information Network.

SOURCE National eHealth Collaborative
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