Field of Work: Using information technology in health care.
Problem Synopsis: Health records do not typically follow people as they move from provider to provider for treatment of the same condition, let alone as they move to new geographic locations. Over the course of a person's life, medical records are developed and stored, mostly on paper, in various physicians' offices, pharmacies, hospitals and other organizations that have provided patient care. Physicians may find themselves providing care without always knowing what has been done earlier to a patient and by whom. Research indicates that these factors lead to inefficiencies, redundancies, higher costs, compromised quality of care and increased medical errors.
Synopsis of the Work: From 2004 to 2007, RWJF funded various aspects of the Markle Foundation's initiative Connecting for Health, which worked with more than 100 collaborators from government, health care, industry and consumer groups to establish policy guidelines and technical solutions to pave the way for nationwide electronic health information exchange. This initiative had the overarching goal of creating a secure environment in which personal medical information is available electronically when and where needed by patients and the clinicians who care for them.
The Markle Foundation and its collaborators:
In October 2005, at the "Connecting Americans to Their Healthcare" conference, Public Opinion Strategies released the results of two surveys about personal health records and nationwide health information exchange. The surveys produced the following findings: