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Health Information Technology

Colorado is emerging as a leader in the area of health information technology (HIT) on a national level and the Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) has been actively involved since 2007. The State CIO led the cross-sector HIT Advisory Committee which was created pursuant to Senate Bill 07-196 to develop a long range plan for statewide health care information technology issues. Committee goals included:

 
 
  • Strategies for incorporating HIT into the health care delivery system
  • Changes to state legislation for consistency between state and interstate levels for advancing HIT interoperability
  • Changes to law to best support privacy and security in transmitting electronic health information both at state and interstate levels
  • Strategies for correcting major deficiencies in information sharing in the health care delivery systems
  • Direction for executive and legislative decision-making bodies to implement long-range plan
  • Strategies for creating or obtaining funding and sustaining financial support for any approaches proposed by the Committee

 

 

The HIT Advisory Committee submitted its Report and Recommendations to the Legislative Council in 2009. The Report identified how Colorado could significantly reduce costs, improve patient outcomes and make the state's healthcare system more efficient and effective and also provided recommendations in four strategic areas: 

 

 
 April 2009 Cover Page of HIT Report 

 

  * Promoting adoption and incorporation of HIT

  * Promoting interoperability and Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE)

  * Fostering implementation by Executive branch and policy makers

  * Engaging the private sector and expanding the use of HIT 

 

 

 

 

OIT's current work in the health IT arena is driven by federal health legislation. Colorado is in the process of responding to the recent enactment of two major pieces of federal health legislation, 1) the ARRA Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and 2) the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). These two Acts have created significant opportunities and challenges for Colorado to expand and accelerate strategies for building statewide interoperability through a digital health information infrastructure.

 

Combined efforts are underway across the state led by the Governor's Health Care Reform Initiative, OIT, and health and human services related departments to ensure that Colorado is strategically aligned for an effective and interoperable approach to health care reform and HIT implementation that meets the requirements of the federal legislation.