Markle Connecting for Health Statement on HHS Plans to Enhance Electronic Exchange of Health Information | Markle | Advancing America's Future

Markle Connecting for Health Statement on HHS Plans to Enhance Electronic Exchange of Health Information

Publication Date: June 6, 2005

NEW YORK, NY—”Secretary Mike Leavitt has moved us much closer to the day when every patient in the United States will be able to send and receive vital medical information at a moment’s notice through nationwide electronic health information exchange. Today, Secretary Leavitt committed to transforming health care in the United States by creating a health information-sharing environment, which will connect patients, physicians, nurses, hospitals, and other authorized healthcare providers and resources. The Secretary called for creating a ‘common framework’ of policies and standards that would facilitate the implementation of nationwide health information exchange. This plan promises to improve the quality of health care, reduce medical errors, lower costs, and empower patients to take an active role in making health care decisions that affect them and those they love.

Markle Connecting for Health, made up of more than 100 partners from the private, public, and non-profit sectors, appreciates that the Secretary and the Administration have carefully reviewed and integrated many of Connecting for Health’s recommendations found in its Roadmap, as well as in its Collaborative Response with 12 other partners to HHS’s request for information for nationwide electronic health information exchange. These recommendations include: the creation of a national common framework of policies and standards to achieve interoperability in healthcare; the use of the Internet to create health information sharing; open and non-proprietary standards; full patient control of electronic medical information; strong common policies to protect privacy and maintain security of patient information; rejection of the creation of a centralized, national databank for medical information; and a commitment to not erecting barriers to innovators entering the field of healthcare IT.

“By announcing the creation of the American Health Information Community today, as well as his intention to lead it, the Secretary made it clear that he is deeply committed to tapping the potential of health IT to fulfill the American people’s aspirations for safe and effective health care. We applaud him for announcing his intention to involve consumers, patients, and representatives of every sector of American society in shaping nationwide electronic health information exchange.

“We look forward to working with the Secretary, the Administration, and many others to move America into a ‘new age of interoperability’ by creating a common framework that will allow us to meet our shared goal of a fully connected health care system serving Americans in the 21st century.”

– Carol Diamond, M.D., Managing Director, Markle Foundation; Chair, Markle Connecting for Health

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