Ohio governor pushes health IT adoption

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Ohio Governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order to create an advisory board to coordinate public and private efforts in building a statewide health IT infrastructure.

The state’s chief information officer will chair the Ohio Health Information Partnership advisory board. The board’s goal will be to develop an operational plan from suggestions made in a strategic roadmap developed by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio and in a plan issued by the Ohio Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration.

The initiative is fueled by the belief that Ohio is “behind the curve in doing something like this,” said Jason Sanford, communications director at the Health Policy Institute of Ohio.

“Ohio works through a kind of 'city state' approach to these things, so there have been a lot of things happening but no one’s been talking to anyone else about what they are doing,” he said. Even though Ohio is home to such advanced organizations as the Cincinnatti HealthBridge RHIO, it will only focus on its own requirements, Sanford said.

Now, future developments will be done collaboratively with what is going on elsewhere in the state¸ Sanford added.

Many of the developments are part of an implementation plan already underway, and the new advisory board has only a short time to expedite the process because its term is set to expire at the end of 2008.