The Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) is a proud partner of the 9th Annual National Health IT Week – a collaborative forum and virtual awareness week that assembles key healthcare constituencies dedicated to working together to elevate health through the best use of information technology. During this week, we at MeHI join hundreds of organizations and industry influencers in the week’s activities.
National Health IT Week is a great opportunity to share Massachusetts’ Health IT accomplishments and look ahead with energy and excitement to what we can achieve. MeHI remains committed to its mission of engaging the healthcare community and catalyzing the development, adoption and effective use of Health IT. The rewards are lower costs, improved quality, and healthier, happier consumers.
Massachusetts leads the nation in Health Information Technology adoption
Massachusetts is making significant progress toward the mission of bringing effective Health IT to all care providers. More than 90 percent use Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and more than 26 percent already participate in a Health Information Exchange (HIE). Nearly 70 percent say they plan to share data once they receive additional support and education. The statewide HIE, the Mass HIway, is connecting providers in ways many did not think possible.
We are also working diligently to help bring Health IT to provider sectors that have traditionally lagged in Health IT adoption, such as Behavioral Health (BH) and Long-Term Post-Acute Care (LTPAC). These providers are integral to the state’s health delivery system and can benefit from Health IT-enabled care delivery and coordination.
The general public’s support for Health IT makes Massachusetts fertile ground for expansion
The 2014 MeHI Provider and Consumer Health IT Research Study found that:
- 78 percent of healthcare consumers have a positive view of EHRs and other eHealth technologies;
- 85 percent are comfortable with electronic storage of health information;
- 78 percent believe care will improve if all doctors use EHRs instead of paper records.
Health IT businesses are making Massachusetts their home, and state government leaders continue to invest in Health IT
Massachusetts is a leader in eHealth innovation. More than 250 health technology and services firms are headquartered here and dozens more, have a significant presence. Most recently, GE Healthcare announced plans to move its Life Sciences division headquarters to Massachusetts. This high concentration of eHealth firms cements the Commonwealth’s status as a prime destination for eHealth innovation and commerce.
Key stakeholders in the state’s eHealth innovation growth efforts include eHealth technology and services companies, academic and research institutions, payers, healthcare providers and capital investors. Their collaborative efforts to develop and retain talent, foster ideas and ground breaking discoveries, and invest time and resources helps fuel this strong and growing sector of the Commonwealth’s economy.
Support from Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature demonstrates our state leadership’s commitment to Health IT. The Governor recently signed economic development legislation that includes $1 million for eHealth innovation.
At MeHI, developing the eHealth Cluster is one of our key strategic initiatives. Through this program, we support this sector and help grow eHealth jobs, opportunities, and innovation across Massachusetts. One example of our support is our partnership with the Senate President in developing the EU-US eHealth Marketplace and Conference in Boston. Scheduled for Oct. 21-22 and organized in conjunction with Connected Health Week, this annual event generates meaningful business opportunities and relationships for business and policy leaders from across the United States and Europe.