Recently, while researching a story about the impact of the HITECH Act, I had trouble finding examples of state CIOs taking high-profile roles in health IT.
A new report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) on state health IT initiatives details state-by-state the flurry of health information exchange activity nationwide.
One state CIO who has been very active in e-health initiatives is Tom Murray of Vermont. For an earlier NASCIO report, he noted that he spends about 10 percent of his time on e-health issues. If that seems like a lot, he stressed that healthcare consumes approximately 50 percent of the Vermont state budget, and the potential savings from an interoperable health record network are huge.
But in quite a few of its state profiles, such as those for Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, Kansas, Idaho, South Carolina, and Oklahoma, NASCIO reports that "no state CIO involvement was detected.•bCrLf
That may change as state-level HIEs become more important and see increased federal funding. Because without improvements in health data sharing, state governments probably won't see the quality or cost improvements they need to achieve.