Feds Fund Secure Data Exchange Demos15 communities to test using technology to address health challenges
The HITECH Act , part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is funding the Beacon Community program, which federal officials predict will create about 1,100 jobs. The pilot projects, which will include strong privacy and security measures, are designed to demonstrate how electronic health records and health information exchanges can improve health care quality, safety and efficiency, laying the groundwork for other efforts, says Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services.
The list of projects includes, for example, a University of Hawaii at Hilo effort to implement a health information exchange to "utilize secure, Internet-based care coordination and telemonitoring tools to increase access to specialty care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity in this rural, health-professional shortage area."
HHS, which announced the grant winners with the White House on May 4, plans to award another $30 million in grants in the coming weeks. It received more than 130 applications.