Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Governor Doyle Creates New eHealth Board

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today signed Executive Order 303, creating the Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data (WIRED) for Health Board to develop a structure for a statewide electronic medical records exchange by June 1, 2010.

“This is an important step in creating a structure for a statewide electronic medical records exchange,” Governor Doyle said. “A secure exchange will make it easier to transfer needed medical records from one hospital to another, benefiting patient safety while reducing duplication in medical tests and decreasing administrative costs.”

The WIRED for Health Board replaces the eHealth Care Quality and Safety Board and will develop a plan for a statewide health information exchange that will:

Outline provisions for oversight and accountability

Identify, secure and provide funding to build capacity and ensure long-term sustainability

Provide a technical infrastructure

Help health care providers use and exchange electronic records

Provide for the operation and flow of information

Create a common set of rules for exchanging health information while protecting patient interests

The Board will consist of 14 members representing: a commercial payer, a patient or consumer organization, hospitals, physicians, the business community, pharmacies, laboratories, higher education, quality/health organizations, public health, Medicaid and the State Chief Information Officer.

Governor Doyle’s Executive Order also sets a framework for legislative action to establish a permanent infrastructure for using and exchanging electronic records when the Legislature reconvenes in 2010. Discussions on a bill are underway with legislative leaders, including Rep. Richards and Sen. Kreitlow.

Regional health exchanges have already demonstrated how these systems can provide vital information during public health emergencies. Since the onset of H1N1, Milwaukee ’s regional exchange has provided immediate data on the number of flu related emergency room visits by hospital and by age group, tracking the spread of the virus in Milwaukee in real time.

Wisconsin is also receiving $9.44 million in Recovery Act funds to support efforts to create a state exchange. The Recovery Act provides an additional $34 billion in incentives for hospitals to begin using electronic records. Wisconsin is well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities.

Descriptions of board seats and committee positions, as well as nomination application requirements and forms are available at: http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/eHealth.


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