Getting From Here to There: NGA’s Health Info Roadmap

December 19, 2016

Categories: Thought Leadership


For those in the business of health care, we live our lives by the popular mantra of “Better Care. Better Health. Lower Costs.” Six simple words with a powerful—and complicated—mission. With so much to do, so much information and so much budget scrutiny, it’s no wonder that health care is ranked at the top of the list for fastest growing industries. Where does one even begin to tackle such goals?

Like most things in life, you start by learning. Learning comes from exposure to and absorption of information. The problem in healthcare is that the information is either intensely protected (rightfully so), cannot be exchanged, is not shared in a meaningful manner, or all of the above. As stated in a recent article by Iron Mountain, “Collecting data from many health information sources contributes to the growth of data, but connecting this data to produce anytime, anywhere information access is more difficult.”

In an effort to get us all from here to there, the National Governors Association (NGA) has developed “A Road Map for States to Improve Health Information Flow between Providers”. NGA isn’t the first organization to take on the challenge of health care interoperability. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has their version of the path. HiMSS provides health IT companies with a set of tools and standards. However, what is unique about NGA’s map is that it focuses “specifically on clinical data flow between providers with recognition of its importance to the broader shift toward health system transformation and improved population health.”

With five clear, actionable steps governors, health officials, state lawmakers and IT providers can begin the journey of realizing true interoperability. We are excited to see how states leverage NGA’s roadmap and the overall impact on patients’ care, health and costs.