This grant application requests support for the annual meeting, the Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE) for years 2011-2013. There is increasing awareness that information systems and technology have a major role to play in the transformation of healthcare. Health information technologies (IT) in the form of electronic medical records, telemedicine, remote monitoring devices, personal health records, etc. offer the promise to positively influence quality and patient safety, and reduce healthcare costs. With the recent passing of the HITECH Act, there is considerable momentum behind incorporating IT into every aspect of the healthcare system. Yet, significant research questions and challenges remain regarding design, implementation, utilization, and evaluation of health IT. Much of the existing research on health IT has been conducted within narrow academic silos with limited cross-fertilization.
The specific aims of WHITE include: (1) to build the foundation for a multidisciplinary health IT research community by gathering researchers from medical informatics, computer science, public health, business, and economics;(2) provide a forum for leading researchers to disseminate cutting-edge findings and knowledge;(3) afford policymakers and practitioners the opportunity to shape the evolving health IT research agenda, (4) develop the next generation of health IT researchers. WHITE is hosted by the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The inaugural workshop was held on Oct 8-9, 2010, in Washington DC. The first conference had 90 participants from 49 leading research institutes including Harvard, MIT, CMU, Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota, and Arizona State University. The conference also attracted attendees from congressional and government agencies, as well as industry practitioners, including CBO, ONC, NIH, AHRQ, RWJ, HIMSS, Intermountain Healthcare, and Duke Medical Center. Selected presentations and discussions were posted on the conference website and available to the public upon request free of charge. We hope to build on the workshop's initial success and are seeking funding for the annual conferences for the next three years (2011-2013). The focus of WHITE is directly linked to the mission of AHRQ to improve healthcare quality via information technology. WHITE will generate synergies arising from an inter-disciplinary perspective which can lead to deeper understanding of the design solutions and impacts of health IT. Additionally, WHITE will facilitate needed collaborations between academia, government (including ONC), and industry to accelerate the diffusion of health IT throughout the healthcare system.
The Annual Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE) is held in October each year in Washington DC. WHITE is a health IT summit that gathers prominent scholars from more than 40 leading research institutes in a multidisciplinary setting to discuss challenges in the design, implementation and management of health IT, and its economic impacts . The annual conference plays a critical role in facilitating interactions between academia, government, and industry, creating the foundation for a health IT research community, and promoting the broad-based infusion of health IT to improve healthcare quality and efficiency.