Healthcare reform needs to ‘go beyond digitizing a broken system’

The Institute for e-Health Policy’s Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics held a meeting this week where Harris Corporation vice president of Healthcare Solutions Jim Traficant spoke to members, telling them that an integrated, interoperable enterprise system was needed to transform the nation’s healthcare infrastructure.

The Institute for e-Health Policy’s Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics is an educational and research-based organization that produces educational sessions and healthcare information technology demonstrations for members of Congress, congressional staff, key federal agency officials, industry professionals and the general public.

Honorary Steering Committee Co-chairs are: Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND); Mike Crapo (R-ID); John Thune (R-SD); Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representatives Eric Cantor (R-VA); Rick Boucher (D-VA); Bart Gordon (D-TN); Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-PA); and David Wu (D-OR).

As part of the team that developed the software for the National Health Information Network (NIHN) CONNECT Gateway, Harris VP Traficant told the Institute that a centralized, reliable network was needed to connect the nation’s fragmented systems. “Healthcare reform must go beyond digitizing a broken system to enable an integrated, interoperable one.”

Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in April, NIHN CONNECT allows federal agencies and private sector healthcare providers to securely exchange electronic patient information. The Social Security Administration was the first federal agency to begin using the network, and according to Traficant, the result has been a significant reduction in the time required to process disability claims.

“Healthcare transformation will come from a connected, integrated, interoperable system where health information is delivered on demand to clinical and benefits experts with security and privacy, and with patients in control of how their information is shared,” Mr. Traficant said.

“Transformation of the healthcare system is within our reach. The future of our nation depends on it. We have been given an incredible opportunity. We can’t squander it.”

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