Thursday, August 24, 2006

Public Health Aspects of HIT, Take 2

Earlier this week, I wrote about the potential public health advantages of electronic medical records and the President's Executive Order encouraging improvement in health care quality. Health insurers are not waiting for the National Health Information Network to be established in order to reap public health benefits from claims data. I should have mentioned at the time that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association recently announced that it is pooling its claims data (without personal identifiers) in an effort to help employers and other health care consumers improve the quality of health care. Similarly, a coalition of employers and insurers organized by Mercer Human Resources Consulting under the banner Care Focused Purchasing Inc. has created a similar data warehouse for health care quality improvement purposes. These efforts build on the work of organizations such NCQA and the Leapfrog Group.

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