The lack of common interoperability standards and inconsistent approaches to security, privacy and trust are perpetuating an antiquated U.S. health care delivery system that has been largely unable to benefit from the widespread adoption of IT, according to Verizon's top security and health care executive.
The executive, Dr. Peter Tippett, vice president of security and industry solutions for Verizon, called for the development of "simple, common-sense approaches to data security and interoperability" to help expand access to quality care, control costs and improve patient outcomes. He spoke Tuesday (Feb. 22) at the Health Information Management Systems Society annual conference.
In a "Views from the Top" address titled "Prescription for Health IT: What's Holding Us Back," Tippett said: "The U.S. health care system is the envy of many countries around the world. However, there is much that needs to be done to bring the industry into the 21st century. Working together to tackle acknowledged industrywide challenges, we can foster an environment of change and through the pragmatic use of IT create a stronger and more viable health care system."
Tippett outlined four key areas that he said will serve as the foundation for the future transformation of the health care system. The areas are:
- Built-in Security - The ability to share information in a secure and trusted manner is a vital cornerstone in health care. To be effective, security compliance programs should be intuitive, easy-to-use and uniform across the industry.
- Support for Structured and Unstructured Data - Due to a lack of common standards for its use and storage, data often remains in separate files rather than being combined to provide a holistic patient view. By redoubling efforts to tackle this issue, health care data can be easily shared among providers to help reduce medical errors and enable informatics and analytics to help improve treatment plans and patient outcomes.
- High-IQ Networks - Pervasive and interconnected IP and wireless networks are the essential platforms to connect providers to foster innovation. Secure, high-performance networks will serve as the underlying foundational platforms to help drive productivity and efficiency enhancements.
- Simplification - The U.S. health care system is diverse, ranging from large urban providers with thousands of physicians to small rural practices. Solutions must be affordable, consistent and, ultimately, simple. Leveraging current systems and data is an important first step and is essential for promoting usability and driving benefits to provide a solid foundation for future enhancements.
Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions, the company's health care practice group, offers a comprehensive portfolio of managed, IT and consulting services for the health care industry to help transform patient care delivery, enhance access to care and better manage costs.
Verizon is a global leader in driving better business outcomes for mid-sized and large enterprises and government agencies. Verizon combines integrated communications and IT solutions and professional services expertise with high-IQ global IP and mobility networks to enable businesses to securely access information, share content and communicate. Verizon is rapidly transforming to a cloud-based "everything-as-a-service" delivery model that will put the power of enterprise-grade solutions within the reach of every business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.