Public Education and Consumer Engagement in New York State Health Information Technology Strategy
Special Projects Fund
November 15, 2007
There is an urgent need to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency in New York State and broad use of Health Information Technology (HIT) will facilitate a secure and interoperable health information exchange. The activities planned under this grant were designed to further develop and implement the statewide collaboration process with the ultimate goal of advancing HIT adoption and use. Because HIT and the health information exchange infrastructure is intended as a public good, NYeC’s vision included engaging the public in understanding, using, and evaluating HIT and health information exchange capabilities, both as individual consumers and patients and as part of a community engaged in these activities.
The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) was established in 2006 with leadership and support from the New York State Department of Health. Collaborative members believe that it is possible (and urgent) to simultaneously improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency in New York State and that broad use of health information technology (HIT) will facilitate the secure, interoperable health information exchange (HIE) needed to fulfill that vision.
Consumer involvement is too often neglected in eHealth projects, which depend heavily on technical experts. Not only do consumers need to be assured that their health data will be private and secure, they should be involved as stakeholders in the process of setting policies and standards.
Integrating the consumer perspective as part of the State’s overall HIT strategy requires development of a new governance and policy framework. NYeC will implement the consumer engagement framework at the State and community levels through a coordinated governance and policy process, with participation from the State Department of Health and the full range of health care stakeholders. This will include development and implementation of a public education campaign to identify and address various stakeholder needs; a governance and regulatory model for regional health information organizations; innovative models of clinical health information for use by patients; and a statewide communications infrastructure that will allow NYeC to operate in a transparent manner and broadly disseminate information on policy activities statewide and nationally.