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Group recommends road map to national health information network.

A group of 13 health and IT organizations recently provided the Bush administration with recommendations for a road map to a U.S. health information network. The group's report suggests the principles that should guide the creation of such a network and calls for nonproprietary nonproprietary adjective Generic, see there  technical standards for communication across the network.

The report states that to improve care and reduce costs, patient information must be able to be sent and shared freely across the network among hospitals, laboratories, specialists, insurers, and researchers. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the 54-page report, the federal government should guide the development of a health network by providing some initial financing and endorsing basic technical standards but should set up a separate "standards and policy entity" to handle the task.

The report concludes that a national health network should not include a central database of patient records nor should it require individuals to have health ID cards, as some have proposed. It says patients should control their own records, deciding whether and how their information can be used.

One goal is to enable the health network to operate somewhat like Internet based e-mail, in which people using different types of computers and software can send and receive messages because the open, standard technology for handling messages is used by everyone. An article recently published in the online version of the journal Health Affair estimates that $78 billion a year could be saved by moving to electronic patient records in a network with open communications standards, or interoperability The capability of two or more hardware devices or two or more software routines to work harmoniously together. For example, in an Ethernet network, display adapters, hubs, switches and routers from different vendors must conform to the Ethernet standard and interoperate with each other. . The annual savings from implementing digital patient records in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  would be only about $24 billion annually if the communications standards are not fully open, according to The Value of Healthcare Information Exchange and Interoperability (HIEI), a report by the Center for Information Technology Leadership.

The cost of installing the computers, networking equipment, and software required to build an electronic health network will be daunting daunt  
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.

[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
 for doctors and hospitals, however; researchers estimate it would cost $276 billion over the next 10 years.

Many medical groups are making sizable siz·a·ble also size·a·ble  
Of considerable size; fairly large.

siza·ble·ness n.
 investments in the creation of local networks that connect electronic patient records, and eight of the United States' largest technology companies, including IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) , Microsoft, and Oracle, have agreed to embrace open technology standards as the software building blocks for a national health information network.

European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the

European Community
 nations will spend $2.1 billion on electronic health records by 2008, more than double current spending levels. The United Kingdom leads Europe with its aggressive health e-records program. France and Germany rank second and third, respectively, in e-records planning and spending.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
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Title Annotation:News, Trends & Analysis
Author:Swartz, Nikki
Publication:Information Management Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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