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Healthcare Transparency - A Vision of Change

September 8, 2008
by Wayne Craige
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Like Newt Gingrich article on the “Future State” (April 2008 issues of Healthcare Informatics), my vision of tomorrow’s healthcare system cannot be accomplished with Healthcare IT alone, we need Transparency!

The perfect healthcare system should be based on Transparency. From a strategic perspective healthcare IT should allow health plans, physicians, and patients to instantly see their entire set of medical records. Clinicians should be able to receive evidence-based treatment recommendations for frequent diagnoses, and be able to retrieve comprehensive treatment alerts. Healthcare IT strategy should help to push for transparency for every US healthcare consumers and practitioners which will provides quality, cost and other open information to be used to make informed healthcare decisions for all.

The result is a reduction in costly medical errors, the ability to efficiently and effectively treat a greater volume of patients at a lower cost, and the opportunity for informed patients to receive care regardless of location status.

It is apparent that some of the benefits of health care IT alone have resulted in unexpected social, cultural and ethical issues dealing with individuals, and our society on a whole. Over time these issues have become more challenging because technological innovations are making dealing with the social effects and cultural considerations even more complex that expected.

Transparency is therefore a critical need, to keep in mind of all individuals, in different societies, as we design health care technology to support them. Our IT solutions should be designed around individuals to provide for the multiplicity of settings, organizational, and other social and cultural concerns.

Georgia Office of HITT has been working jointly with the Governor (Sonny Purdue), local organizations board members, hospitals and local stakeholders to promote transparency across the full spectrum of healthcare services in the state of Georgia. Together strategies have been developed to enable health information technology to be available across the full continuum of care and to foster linkages between health care providers and public health. All US citizens deserve to know the quality and cost of their health care.

“Health care transparency will provide consumers with the information necessary, and the incentive, to choose health care providers based on value”

Providing reliable cost and quality information will empowers consumer choice. Transparency will create incentives at all levels, and motivates the entire healthcare system to provide better care for less money. Consumers will see improvements in services as providers see how their practice compares to others.

What’s does transparency mean to you?

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