Task Force to Deliver Health IT Alignment Strategies
Recommendations for aligning current health IT efforts to best use scarce public and private resources in support of new care delivery models that will improve quality of care will be released later this year by the recently formed Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT. An offshoot of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Health Project, the task force is co-chaired by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, now co-leaders of the Health Project, and comprises 24 health system experts and leaders. “The task force will identify examples of organizations that have promoted accountable, patient-centered care,” Frist says. “We will highlight opportunities for and challenges related to leveraging health IT to support these new models of care. The task force will recommend key actions that must be taken to lay the foundation for delivery system and payment reforms that promise to improve health and health care in this country.” At its official launch last month, the group released a report that outlines opportunities for leveraging health IT to support delivery system reforms and offers several recommendations to help accelerate progress on health IT implementation issues. Such recommendations include improving the coordination and alignment of health IT and reform efforts to identify opportunities for synergy and develop shared solutions for common needs; integrating lessons learned from early implementation efforts associated with large-scale programs to address unanticipated needs and issues; and enhancing strategies for engaging consumers in reform efforts through the use of health IT and emerging consumer technologies. Among other recommendations, the group advocates recommends increasing the focus and public-private sector collaboration on expanding implementation assistance and workforce training, particularly for small physical practices, small hospital, and clinics that support rural and underserved populations. It also recommends collaborating on a strategy for achieving privacy-protected health information exchange. The BPC’s Health Project was launched in January. In addition to Daschle and Frist, the project is led by former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Read the report. —Julie Ritzer Ross