Pilot Programs to Help Accelerate Technology
The Department of Health and HumanServices recently awarded $18.6 millionin contracts to 4 consortia to expeditethe use of modern technology in healthcare. The groups, Accenture, theComputer Sciences Corp, IBM, andNorthrop Grumman, are building healthsystems in 12 regions across the UnitedStates, which will serve as models for thecountry. The contracts are a small percentageof the investment that thegroups will make in the regions.
While the government will set goalsand require that companies link physicianoffices, clinics, and hospitals in computernetworks using open data standardsso that information can be easilyshared, how to achieve these objectivesis in the hands of the private sector.
The pilot programs will require thecompanies to develop personal digitalhealth records and provide physicianswith affordable on-line access to patientrecords, diagnostic information, andbilling. Each of the 4 consortia will oversee3 regions in which it must create localhealth networks over the next year. Eachgroup can use different technologies, aslong as one local network can passpatient and other health information backand forth to other local networks.