At the patient level, the use of health information technology can help ensure the continuity and integration of care, improve health care quality, reduce costs, and expand access to affordable services. Secure electronic information exchanges among physicians—so that all necessary patient information is available at the point of care—can enable better, more informed treatment, and be designed to protect patient privacy.

For the public health system, health information technology can facilitate early detection of disease outbreaks and environmental hazards, improve monitoring of chronic diseases, and quickly identify adverse events involving drugs or other agents.

Recommendation 3

The secretary should accelerate the establishment of a collaborative, robust system for evaluating the health care system that would incorporate existing department and external research, stimulate new studies as needed, synthesize findings, and provide actionable feedback for policy makers, purchasers, payers, providers, health care professionals, and the public.

  1. The secretary should work with Congress to establish a capability for assessing the comparative value—including clinical- and cost-effectivenessof medical interventions and procedures, preventive and treatment technologies, and methods of organizing and delivering care. The assessment of comparative value should begin by leveraging department-wide data sources in conjunction with supportive evidence from providers, payers, and health researchers.2

  2. The secretary should work with Congress to ensure that the department’s programs and reim-


The committee did not reach consensus on recommendation 3a. Although the majority of the committee supports the language of the recommendation, David Beier, J.D., Senior Vice President of Global Government and Corporate Affairs, Amgen; Kathleen Buto, M.P.A., Vice President, Health Policy, Johnson & Johnson; and Myrl Weinberg, C.A.E., President, National Health Council, did not agree with the majority’s view and provided dissenting opinions, which can be found in Appendix F. They were not able to agree on a common statement.

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