Department of Health and Human Services Actions Advance Goal of Electronic Health Information Infrastructure | Markle | Advancing America's Future

Department of Health and Human Services Actions Advance Goal of Electronic Health Information Infrastructure

Publication Date: May 10, 2004

New York—Connecting for Health commends the recent announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the adoption of the second group of standards for interoperable healthcare information and the appointment of Dr. David Brailer as the new National Health Information Technology Coordinator.

At last week’s HHS Health Information Technology Summit, Secretary Thompson announced the adoption of 15 additional standards agreed to by the Consolidated Health Informatics (CHI) initiative. The adoption of these standards is important to the development of interoperable health information systems in the public and private sectors. The new position of National Health Information Technology Coordinator was created as a part of the Health Information Technology Plan, which was announced late last month. Dr. Bailer is currently chair of the Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health working group on Legal, Financial and Organizational Issues of Health Information Exchange.

“Electronic connectivity that enables patient information to be available privately and securely when patients and their doctors are making vital health decisions is essential if we are going to provide the best possible care to patients,” said Dr. Carol Diamond, Managing Director of the Markle Foundation’s Healthcare program and chair of Connecting for Health.

Connecting for Health, a public private sector collaborative initiative funded by the Markle Foundation and receiving additional support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has been convening public and private sector stakeholders for the last year and a half to advance the goal of electronic connectivity within healthcare.

“These announcements are important building blocks for this much needed transformation of healthcare which must be done with strong public and private sector partnership,” said John Lumpkin, MD, MPH, senior vice president of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and executive vice chair of Connecting for Health.

“The Summit on Health Information Technology was an exciting opportunity to see the government and the private sector come together ready to accomplish one goal: that of a fully leveraged information technology system to improve healthcare quality, safety and efficiency,” said Dan Garrett, vice president and managing director of Computer Sciences Corporation’s Global Health Solutions Practice and executive vice chair of Connecting for Health.

“The call for someone to lead the nation’s efforts to bring electronic connectivity to the healthcare industry is a two decade-old rallying cry,” said Herbert Pardes, MD, president and CEO, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and executive vice chair of Connecting for Health. “We are most grateful for Secretary Thompson’s leadership in this area and for his decision to appoint David Brailer to the post of National Health Information Technology Coordinator.”

“David Brailer is a pioneer and innovator in the field of health informatics and Connecting for Health has benefited tremendously from his leadership,” added Dr. Diamond.

Markle Connecting for Health is a public-private collaborative with representatives from more than one hundred organizations across the spectrum of health care and information technology specialists. Its purpose is to catalyze the widespread changes necessary to realize the full benefits of health information technology while protecting patient privacy and the security of personal health information. Markle Connecting for Health tackles the key challenges to creating a networked health information environment that enables secure and private information sharing when and where it is needed to improve health and health care. Learn more about Markle Connecting for Health at