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Integrated State Health Information Systems

Coordinating Information to Address State Health Policy Needs

Quality of Care


Katherine Ganz, M.D., Director, New Mexico Health Policy Commission, Santa Fe, NM.


John Ludden, M.D., Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Brookline, MA.

Patricia Powers, Executive Director, Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), San Francisco, CA.

In this session, public and private roles and partnerships addressing issues of health care quality measurement and management were described.

Dr. Ganz opened the session by describing New Mexico's evolving perspective on the need for integrated health information. The new perspective sees information as a public good for public benefit and recognizes that an information infrastructure is required to support public interests. She described the health data system design that resulted.

Dr. Ludden discussed quality information issues from the perspective of a health plan. He listed Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) reporting, purchaser specifications, practice improvement, and consumer information among the reasons a health plan should produce quality information. He reviewed some problems with data integration and listed confidentiality and respect, and consumer utility among the current outstanding issues.

Pat Powers concluded the panel by presenting the perspective of a business purchasing coalition. She described how employers, health plans, providers, the academic community, and the public are the stakeholders and beneficiaries of improved data. Specifically, she described current quality projects in California which take advantage of existing public and private sources of data, as well as a Data Initiative to enhance the system infrastructure and standardization of data elements throughout the State. She identified the following Web site for PBGH's quality comparisons of California health plans and hospitals:

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