On April 22, HIMSS Medical Banking Project became one of 300 certified “civil society organizations” from around the globe to gain clearance and participation in the 2010 Civil Society Forum at The World Bank in Washington DC.
The event, somewhat shadowed by a concurrent G6 meeting occurring nearby, provided an excellent forum to meet groups that are working throughout the world to improve systems, infrastructure, problematic regulatory schemes and more. The World Bank brought out its elite – board members, executive officers and others – to meet with the certified CSOs and to explain their priorities and new governance structures that will foster accountability. Among the leading topics were a 15-year review of transparency issues at the World Bank, UN Millennium Development goals and Haiti, where HIMSS MBProject executives spoke directly with multiple regional ambassadors and government officials about the use of mobile healthcare technology to improve disaster response, funding mechanisms and more. The integration of medical banking and mobile technology is enabling a new portfolio of technology that reaches into areas with little to no infrastructure. (Blog Editor’s Note: Follow my related articles here)
In the afternoon, some 100 executives from all over the world met at a roundtable, complete with multiple translators, to address questions directly to the president of the World Bank, Dr. Robert Zoellick. During this time, Dr. Zoellick repeatedly referenced the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG), that are targeted for fulfillment in five years (2015), and the need to work more aggressively to meet the timelines. Among these goals are improved healthcare for women and children, and others, the efficient use of resources to promote sustainability and more.
Recently, the World Bank joined five other national agencies (UN, WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, others) to make a global announcement about the importance of information technology for improving global healthcare. This initiative is a direct result of guidance provided from within the MDGs.
After the session, which was a lively dialogue regarding various interests ranging from clean energy to healthcare to financial policies that included successfully combating fraud and abuse of funds at the World Bank, the participants gathered in a networking reception where officials of HIMSS that were present (John Casillas, SVP, HIMSS Medical Banking Project, and, Juliet Santos, Senior Director, HIMSS Medical Banking Project) spoke to many in the World Bank’s executive team, many of who asked that we make plans for ongoing collaboration.
Working with the World Bank has been a longstanding strategy of the Medical Banking Project and with the new HIMSS MBProject, there is an emerging possibility that this strategic goal will be realized by collaborating to raise awareness of health information technology issues around the world.