The past two years have been a period of intense planning, policy and program development in health information technology in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The projects funded by the HIT Council, described under “State Initiatives”, will provide benefits not just to their own respective communities, but to the Commonwealth as a whole.
Yet, the ultimate impact of the HIT Council's work cannot be measured by these five projects alone. An enormous amount of progress has been made on other fronts, leveraging the HIT Council's work as a catalyst for engagement. Virginia is now widely recognized as a leader in the field of health IT. It is the only state with two participants (MedVirginia and CareSpark) in the Nationwide Health Information Network Trial Implementation, and these two organizations very successfully demonstrated interoperability to a national audience at the September 24, 2008 meeting of the American Health Information Community. Virginia was one of only twelve communities in the U.S. selected for participation in the CMS EHR Demonstration. We have strong representation on national standards development workgroups, such as HISPC. Virginia was recently designated as a Chartered Value Exchange (CVEs represent one of several initiatives undertaken by HHS to implement a vision for health care reform built on four cornerstones, including adopting interoperable health information technology). Representatives of the Commonwealth speak frequently at national health IT conferences, including HIMSS and eHealth Initiative. In addition, we have developed strong partnerships with key stakeholders at the Federal level, including HHS, SSA, VA and DoD regarding potential collaboration in health IT.
All of this serves as a springboard for strategic advancement of health information technology in the future. In summary, the Commonwealth of Virginia has the resources, partnerships, infrastructure and vision to continue the drive toward enhanced quality, safety and efficiency through the use of health IT. Much work remains, but the past two years provide both the confidence and encouragement to press ahead.