SOURCE: eHealth Initiative

April 07, 2005 12:25 ET

World Health Day Launch of eHealth Initiative Global HIT Online Resource Center

eHI Extends Its Expertise to Communities Across the Globe, Providing New Resources on Improved Health Through Information Technology

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 7, 2005 -- The eHealth Initiative (eHI) today launched its Leadership in Global Health Technology (LIGHT) Online Resource Center -- http://www.ehealthinitiative.org/initiatives/global -- a tool to promote better health through health information technology (HIT) across the globe.

The Online Resource Center is a new feature of the LIGHT Initiative, which eHI established in 2004 to facilitate learning and information sharing among HIT innovators and other nations, in both the developed and developing world. eHI LIGHT participants include recognized, high-level global healthcare and HIT experts. Its work offers insight into innovative, culturally appropriate HIT implementation strategies for countries around the globe that face a common challenge: how to improve the prevention and treatment of illness and the safe, cost-efficient delivery of basic healthcare services. A key component of the LIGHT mission is to identify key barriers, workable strategies and imperatives for implementing an interconnected, electronic health information infrastructure to support better health and healthcare.

"Countries around the world have become increasingly interested in the potential contributions that health information technology, electronic connectivity, and a health information infrastructure can make to improve healthcare for their citizens. New tools will help us address pressing challenges -- from preventative care to pandemics," said Susan Penfield, Chairwoman of the eHI LIGHT Initiative and Booz Allen Hamilton vice president. "These initiatives will inform debate and global dialogue, as well as build critical collaboration and an international learning community around critical health issues."

The LIGHT Online Resource Center is the latest addition to eHI's growing informational inventory for communities and regions interested in implementing electronic health information exchange Key features of the eHI LIGHT Online Resource Center include continent-specific summaries of current HIT activities and an overview of identified areas of global HIT collaboration on:

--  Leadership;
--  Funding and financial incentives to support sustainability;
--  Technical issues, including architecture, applications, standards and
    security;
--  Organizational and clinical process change;
--  Engagement of citizens and consumers; and
--  HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts.
    
"We are excited to extend our reach globally," said Janet M. Marchibroda, chief executive of the eHealth Initiative and its Foundation. "In parallel with all our programs, the LIGHT Initiative engages the multiple, diverse stakeholders within healthcare to develop workable HIT solutions supporting common quality, safety and efficiency goals. Our international efforts also leverage eHI's established role as a leader in providing pioneering expertise and technical support and to communities engaging in electronic health information exchange projects."

Ticia Gerber, vice president of international programs and director of the eHI LIGHT Initiative, stated that "Today, we celebrate World Health Day and focus on undertaking sustainable activities to improve the health of mothers, children and the societies in which they live. From smaller settings like rural health centers within developing countries to industrialized nations the world over, the implementation of HIT that recognizes native capabilities and needs, is a growing and important contribution to better ensuring the health and healthcare of the global citizenry writ large. eHI looks forward to supporting this worldwide movement through the LIGHT Initiative and eHI's related activities."

About eHI and its Foundation

The eHealth Initiative and its Foundation are independent, non-profit organizations whose missions are the same: to drive improvement in the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology. For more information on the eHealth Initiative and its Foundation, go to www.ehealthinitiative.org.

About eHI's LIGHT Initiative

The LIGHT Initiative is sponsored by the eHealth Initiative Foundation. The LIGHT Initiative has received unrestricted educational grant funds from private sector sources including Booz Allen Hamilton, Computer Sciences Corporation, and IDX Systems Corporation. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has also provided financial support to eHealth Initiative Foundation for a report summarizing barriers to and strategies for implementing health information technology and electronic connectivity to improve health and healthcare in a number of nations across the globe. The LIGHT Initiative holds periodic international summit meetings and monthly Working Group meetings in Washington D.C. and around the globe to advance its mission. New high-level, expert participants are welcome to participate in these activities. Contact Ticia Gerber at ticia.gerber@ehealthinitiative.org.

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