NGA Center Announces State Alliance For e-Health

Initiative to Improve Efficiency, Quality of U.S. Health Care

WASHINGTON — The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) announced the creation of the State Alliance for e-Health, an initiative designed to improve the nation’s health care system through the formation of a collaborative body that enables states to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the health information technology (HIT) initiatives they develop.

The State Alliance for e-Health was developed under a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology. It provides a forum through which governors, elected state officials and other policymakers can work together to identify inter- and intrastate-based HIT policies and best practices. They also will explore solutions to programmatic and legal issues related to the exchange of health information. The State Alliance will work with experts in the public and private sector to develop real-world HIT solutions and model practices.

The nation’s governors recognize the critical role electronic exchange of health information can play in improving the efficiency and quality of health care services. Estimates of potential savings from HIT adoption are substantial, as is the promise of better health outcomes and reductions in medical errors. States are poised to take a leadership role in removing barriers and supporting efforts for interoperable electronic health information exchange.

"The State Alliance for e-Health offers an unprecedented opportunity for states to advance the creation of a nationwide network for health information exchange," said NGA Chair Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. "This project is a significant opportunity to create synergies between national and state efforts."

The State Alliance will serve as a consensus-based state-level advisory and coordinating body that will enable states to:

  • identify, assess and map ways to resolve state-level health IT issues that affect multiple states and pose challenges to interoperable electronic health information exchange;
  • increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the health IT initiatives through collaboration;
  • resolve privacy and security issues surrounding the use and disclosure of electronic health information;
  • and learn from and leverage national efforts and resources to achieve interoperable health information exchange.

NGA plans to include other associations—whose members represent state interests—to assist in the development, establishment and management of the State Alliance.

"Governors are making real progress in improving the quality of health care, expanding coverage and boosting deployment of health information technology in their states," said NGA Vice Chair Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "Creation of the State Alliance for e-Health is a vital step toward enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of health care across the nation."

In the coming weeks, NGA will name the leadership of the State Alliance for e-Health.

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About National Governors Association
Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit http://www.nga.org.

Contact: John Blacksten
Office of Communications