Driven by the continuing digitization of medical information, rapid innovations in technology, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the landscape of healthcare is changing dramatically. New challenges emerge every day regarding the design, management, utilization, and evaluation of health IT to support the mission of improving quality and reducing costs. They represent unprecedented research opportunities that offer significant potential to answer important questions, and have the potential to influence both policymakers and practitioners towards the mission. 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 broad goal of the Workshop on Health IT &Economics (WHITE) is to support national efforts at advancing healthcare quality and facilitating the adoption and meaningful use of health IT through cutting- edge research, the dissemination of findings, and the translation of research into practice and policy. This is consistent with the mission of AHRQ as stated in PAR-13-017 for conference grants to further its mission to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. Within this broad goal, we are pursuing four specific aims: (1) to foster a cross-disciplinary health IT research community by gathering researchers from public health, business, economics, medical informatics, computer science and related disciplines;(2) develop the health IT research agenda and afford policymakers and practitioners the opportunity to help shape the research agenda;(3) provide a forum for leading researchers to disseminate cutting-edge findings and knowledge;and, (4) nurture the next generation of health IT researchers. WHITE 2014 will be the 5th annual conference. WHITE is structured as a typical workshop with a mix of paper sessions, keynote presentations, pre-conference sessions and panels that merge distinctive perspectives from industry, policy and innovation domains. WHITE has developed a strong brand and is creating significant value for attendees, who continue to return each year. WHITE participants overwhelmingly evaluated WHITE between excellent and very good along all dimensions. WHITE is positioned in a very unique niche that is not addressed, to the best of our knowledge, by any other conference or workshop on health IT. The workshop format supports intimate, rich, and detailed interaction and discussion that is often infeasible in large conferences. It enables the development of human capital in the form of training the next generation of health IT scholars in a constructive setting. We hope that AHRQ will continue to support this high impact conference for the next three years.
The Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE) is an annual health IT research summit that gathers prominent scholars from more than 40 leading research institutes, and prominent policy and practitioner attendees in a vibrant setting to discuss opportunities and challenges in the design, implementation and management of health IT, and its resultant impacts. The conference plays a critical role in facilitating interactions between academia, government, and industry, fostering a multidisciplinary health IT research community, nurturing the next generation of health IT researchers, and promoting the broad-based infusion of health IT to improve healthcare quality and efficiency.