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Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions
processes, and outcomes from all sources subject to appropriate protection of privacy and confidentiality.
Support additional education and training efforts at the intersection of health care, computer science, and health/biomedical informatics. Current programs of the National Library of Medicine and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health are exemplars of such support.
The Computer Science Community
The computer science community can find deep, meaningful, and fundamental intellectual challenges in the health care problem domain (as indicated above). Accordingly, the committee believes that the computer science community should:
Engage as co-equal intellectual partners and collaborators with health care practitioners and experts in health/biomedical informatics and other relevant disciplines, such as industrial and process engineering and design, in an ongoing relationship to understand and solve problems of importance to health care.
Develop institutional mechanisms within academia for rewarding work at the health care/computer science interface.
Support educational and retraining efforts for computer science researchers who want to explore research opportunities in health care.
Health Care Organizations
The senior management in health care organizations and health care payers have often taken the lead in the deployment of IT for health care. They should:
Organize incentives, roles, workflow, processes, and supporting infrastructure to encourage, support, and respond to opportunities for clinical performance gains.
Balance the institution’s IT portfolio among automation, connectivity, decision support, and data-mining capabilities.
Develop the necessary data infrastructure for health care improvement by aggregating data regarding people, processes, and outcomes from all sources.
Insist that vendors supply IT that permits the separation of data from applications and facilitates data transfers to and from other non-vendor applications in shareble and generally useful formats.
Seek IT solutions that yield incremental gains from incremental efforts.