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September 17-20 2005:
Fort Douglas, University of Utah

Conference Information

Conference Highlights

  • Welcome Reception

  • Guest Speakers

  • Special Events

  • Photo Album

  • Geocaching


Keynote Speaker: Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD


Health Knowledge Sharing in the Era of the NHII: The Vision, the Challenges, and the Policy Implications

Priscilla Mayden Lecture
Midcontinental Meeting, Medical Library Association
September 19, 2005

Rolf H. Scholdager Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Columbia University


Related articles

Recent enthusiasm for the automation of medical records and the creation of a National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) must be viewed in the context of a four decade history of anticipation and investment. Information gathering and surveillance, historically conducted with manual data collection and submission, are viewed increasingly as inherently dependent on the effective application of information technology (IT). Descriptions of the NHII often emphasize its role in gathering information locally, regionally, and nationally so as to support public health analyses, disease surveillance, and clinical data sharing for our highly mobile US population. But a key challenge is to use that same infrastructure in a manner that improves information dissemination, decision making, and ultimately the quality of care and preventive services that are offered to patients and to healthy individuals. This presentation begins by envisioning a future view of information technology in support of surveillance and care, proceeding to ask what barriers need to be overcome and what forces are at work that may help us in our efforts to effect the necessary changes. Implications for health knowledge workers, including medical librarians, will be discussed. The future vision for surveillance and information dissemination, although appealing and widely shared, requires major cultural change, financial investment, and logistical planning. To understand the current opportunities and challenges, we must understand both the evolution of attitudes and accomplishments in healthcare IT and the cultural, economic, and structural phenomena that constrain our ability to embrace the technology. Competition in the medical marketplace, coupled with fiscal pressures affecting providers and health systems, suggests that leadership for regional and national coordination will need to come from elsewhere - and likely from governments.


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