Stimulus Funds Boost Utah Health IT Pipeline
Utah's health department will use $6.3 million in federal dollars to build a "computer pipeline" that will allow doctors and hospitals to share patient information, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The pipeline is paid for by the federal economic stimulus package, and the state will contract with the nonprofit Utah Health Information Network to build it. With the pipeline, "doctors could ... retrieve data from another provider about a patient's medical history, allergies or prescriptions. ... Participating clinics would pay a yearly subscription fee. And no one would have access to a patient's medical record unless the patient authorized it." But, some are skecptical. "Among deterrents to 'wiring' medical records are privacy concerns, high up-front costs and the lack of uniform ways of collecting and sharing patient information" (Stewart, 3/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.