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eHealth Initiative Releases Blueprint Representing Consensus on an Action Plan for Transforming U.S. Healthcare Using Health IT
Date:10/10/2007

eHI Blueprint Offers Multi-Stakeholder Consensus on a Shared Vision, Principles, Strategies and Actions for Improving Health and Healthcare

Through Information Technology

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the non-profit eHealth Initiative (eHI) released the eHealth Initiative Blueprint: Building Consensus for Common Action, which represents multi-stakeholder consensus on a shared vision and a set of principles, strategies and actions for improving health and healthcare through information and information technology (IT). Through a collaborative process led by eHI's multi-stakeholder leadership, development of the Blueprint involved nearly 200 organizations representing the many diverse stakeholders in healthcare, including clinicians, consumers, employers and healthcare purchasers, healthcare IT suppliers, health plans, hospitals and other providers, laboratories, the life sciences industry, pharmacies, public health agencies, and state and regional leaders. The eHI Blueprint is publicly available and can be accessed at http://www.ehealthinitiative.org/blueprint.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050630/DCTH083LOGO )

Over the last several years, interest in and recognition of the importance of health IT and health information exchange to improve our nation's health and healthcare have grown significantly, stimulating leadership as well as a number of activities and policy changes -- both at the federal and state levels. To respond to this increasing momentum, national and local leaders alike are calling for guidance, coordination and common agreement on the near- term actions that should be taken in support of a long-term path towards an improved healthcare system enabled by interoperable health IT.

As a result, eHI's leadership in March 2007 launched a collaborative process designed to offer practical guidance on how to improve health and healthcare using health IT and health information exchange. The eHI Blueprint catalogs many of the activities that are currently taking place and also provides consensus-based guiding principles, and concrete, practical strategies and actions that can be taken, along with a proposed timeline for their implementation.

The release of the eHI Blueprint represents Phase I of a two-phase process, offering multi-stakeholder consensus on a first set of guiding principles, strategies and actions in five key areas: engaging consumers; transforming care delivery; improving population health; aligning financial and other incentives; and managing privacy, security, and confidentiality. Individuals representing diverse perspectives in healthcare were drawn from eHI's leadership to lead and facilitate the work of five multi-stakeholder committees who created the key components of the Blueprint. While agreement was reached on a broad set of issues in each of the areas noted above, the eHI Blueprint process also identified areas where more work is needed-including specific areas related to financing and policies for information sharing.

Over the next twelve months, as part of Phase II of the Blueprint process, eHI will widely disseminate the Blueprint, support its implementation, facilitate the sharing of related best practices, and gain even further input from additional stakeholders both at the national and local levels, so that the principles, strategies and actions can continue to be refined based on an even broader set of perspectives, as well as experiences in the field. In addition, eHI will encourage national dialogue to reach agreement on those areas for which there is not yet consensus, contributing significantly to the debate as it moves forward. Finally, eHI will track and publicly report on progress made on the Blueprint on an annual basis.

"The Blueprint is intended to be a living document that evolves over time as stakeholders identify areas that can be operationalized, as well as develop those areas where consensus and leadership is still needed," said Janet Marchibroda, chief executive officer, eHealth Initiative and eHealth Initiative Foundation. "While many reports call solely for government action, the eHI Blueprint is also focused on what each stakeholder in healthcare can do -- right now -- to drive healthcare improvement through health information technology."

The Blueprint recognizes and builds upon the work of many projects and initiatives both within the federal government and private sector, and references this work within the "overview of key initiatives" and "resources" sections of the document, offering additional references to healthcare leaders.

About eHealth Initiative (eHI) and its Foundation

The eHealth Initiative and its Foundation are independent, non-profit affiliated organizations whose missions are the same: to drive improvements in the quality, safety, and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology.

eHI engages multiple stakeholders, including clinicians, consumer and patient groups, employers, health plans, healthcare IT suppliers, hospitals and other providers, laboratories, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, pharmacies, public health, public sector agencies, and its growing coalition of more than 250 state, regional and community-based collaboratives, to reach agreement on and drive the adoption of common principles, policies and best practices for improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of America's healthcare through information and information technology. Go to http://www.ehealthinitiative.org.

Note to editors:

eHI's Fourth Annual National Conference is being held October 11-12 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Conference agenda: http://www.ehealthinitiative.org/eHIEventsConf2007.mspx#agenda


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SOURCE eHealth Initiative
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