HIT summit drew leaders
to balmy Marina del Ray

Health IT Leaders Gather Near LA

October 14, 2009
by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor
Leaders in health care information technology gathered in southern California earlier this month to hash out some of the challenges facing their industry, as part of the second Next Generation Health Care Summit.

The conference, which ran from September 30th to October 2nd, brought executives from GE Healthcare, Verizon, Sunquest, Adobe and Ochsner, among others, to the Ritz Carlton resort in Marina del Ray, just outside Los Angeles.

Major speakers

The government's controversial multi-billion dollar push to adopt electronic health records (EHR) was a particularly hot topic among attendees.

Dr. William Bria, the CMIO of Shriners Hospital gave a talk about what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the main thrust of this push, means for hospitals. The Act offers grant money to hospitals that switch to EHR, he notes, but only if the new system demonstrates "meaningful use."

"Just because you have an EHR system, [doesn't mean] you get the money," Dr. Bria told the summit. "You have to show you are using the system in a 'meaningful' way. It's this concept of 'meaningful use' that is problematic."

Dr. Bria said the notion of meaningful use is a moving target. "Descriptions of it range from the reporting of quality data to CMS and the use of electronic prescribing combined with the exchange of clinical information with other providers, to the simple requirement to 'exchange data.'"

Rajeev Kapoor, from Verizon, also discussed electronic records, but he focused on how it has helped improve the safe treatment of patients. He also brought up case studies to highlight advances in keeping image archive systems and electronic records secure.

And GE Healthcare's Chris Powell, vice president of the Americas division, talked about GE's "Healthymagination" program. Launched last May, this $6 billion project aims to increase health care coverage by lowering costs and spreading access to rural and underserved communities. (See DM 9354.)

Next Generation Health Care Summit is the brainchild of British publishing company GDS International. The next summit is scheduled for May 17th - 19th 2010 at the Four Seasons Resort & Club in Dallas, Texas.

For more information, visit: http://www.nghealthcaresummit.com/