eHealth Initiative releases IT best practices for healthcare
The eHealth Initiative (eHI) has released the eHealth Initiative Blueprint: Building Consensus for Common Action, a document promoting “a set of principles, strategies and actions for improving health and healthcare through information and information technology.” The report is designed to offer practical guidance on how to improve health and healthcare using healthcare IT and health information exchange.

The document offers consensus-based guiding principles in five areas: engaging consumers; transforming care delivery; improving population health; aligning financial and other incentives; and managing privacy, security and confidentiality. It also offers concrete strategies and actions that can be taken with a proposed timeline for implementation, according to the Washington, D.C.-based eHealth.

eHI said that the healthcare industry has not done a good job in reaching out to consumers, and that doing so could help accelerate the adoption of healthcare IT.

According to eHI, its strategy over the next 12 months will be for the dissemination of the document, including support for its implementation, facilitation of the sharing of related best practices and a search for input from additional stakeholders at the national and local levels.

“There needs to be further national discussion on the costs and benefits of health IT,” said Jeffrey Kang, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Cigna Healthcare and president of the eHealth Initiative Foundation. “We believe that the blueprint will be a living document and will continue to evolve.”

The document was developed collaboratively by almost 200 diverse healthcare organizations, including clinicians, consumers, employers and healthcare purchasers, healthcare IT suppliers, health plans, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, public health agencies and state and regional leaders.