E-Health Is Taking Hold

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<p>Motivated to improve health system performance, assure quality, and maximize value from health care, states are promoting a wide variety of "e-health" initiatives that exploit the capabilities of health information technology and electronic health information exchanges.<br><br>A new Commonwealth Fund report, <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2008/feb/state-e-health-activities-in-2007--findings-from-a-state-survey
">State E-Health Activities in 2007: Findings from a State Survey</a>, describes the range of state e-health activities, the challenges states are facing, and emerging best practices. Prepared by a team of researchers from Health Management Associates, George Washington University, and the National Governors Association, the report finds that:<br><table border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="first"><ul><li>All states place a high priority on e-health: nearly 70 percent of states report "very significant" e-health activities.</li><li>State governors' two highest e-health priorities over the next two years are fostering the development of electronic health information exchanges and ensuring interconnectivity among health care providers.</li><li>E-health applications are enabling states to implement initiatives to promote quality improvement and greater transparency, and public-private consortiums are aiding the creation of standardized measures of utilization and performance.</li><li>Privacy and security concerns and limited funding are among the most significant barriers to the widespread adoption of interoperable health IT and a nationwide network of electronic information exchanges.</li></ul></td></tr></table>Read the report to learn more about how states are harnessing the powers of e-health to help slow growth in health care costs and obtain greater value for health care dollars.</p>