Editor's Note - InformationWeek

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Commentary
4/28/2004
04:02 PM
Kathleen Foley
Kathleen Foley
Commentary
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Editor's Note

Summer 2004 cover
The government has always had its hand in national health, and when it comes to health-care IT, it's no different. This edition of Healthcare Enterprise looks at the issue from two perspectives: the government as IT innovator, monitoring the nation's health, and as IT facilitator at health-care institutions across the country.

In "On High Alert," Marianne Kolbasuk McGee details the Department of Health and Human Services' 24-hour command center. The facility lets Health Secretary Tommy Thompson and his team of specialists visually track and prepare for events occurring domestically and internationally that could affect the public health. The center and its technology have become a model for other countries, states, and health organizations, including the World Health Organization, as they build or improve their own command centers.

At the same time, is the government doing enough to equip hospitals, especially those in small and rural communities, with technology to improve patient care? In "Granting Wishes," Eileen Colkin Cuneo examines the much-sought-after federal grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Created to fund innovations such as electronic medical records and telemedicine systems, applications far outstrip available funds.

Finally, Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson shares his opinion on how IT can reduce medical errors and improve patient safety.

To voice your opinion on the government's role in health-care IT.

Kathy Foley,
Managing Editor
[email protected]

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