Indiana a national leader in new federal funding for health information technology

10/20/04

Over the next 5 years, Indiana will receive $10.8 million, of which $9.3 million was awarded to the Indiana University School of Medicine, from a new federal program to promote the use of information technology in health care. It is the second largest amount awarded to any of the 38 states that received the recently announced awards.

The funding is part of a new $139 million initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aimed to improve the quality of health care, increase communication among health care providers, and cut costs by funding computing and information systems.

Indiana is one of only five states in the country to receive funding to support a statewide health information network. $6.5 million of the award will support the development, implementation, and assessment of health information exchange in Indiana.

"These awards will help evolve and evaluate regional health information exchange in Indiana. We expect that health information exchange will improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care that patients throughout the state will receive," said J. Marc Overhage, M.D., Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine associate professor of medicine and Regenstrief Institute, Inc. research scientist. Dr. Overhage is president and chief executive officer of the Indiana Health Information Exchange (www.ihie.org), a not-for-profit corporation created to improve healthcare in central Indiana by allowing physicians quick access to complete and accurate patient information through an innovative electronic network.

"The technologies and protocols being developed though health information exchange will have applications statewide and nationally, providing economic opportunities in the growing field of health information," Dr. Overhage said.

William Tierney, M.D., an IUPUI Chancellor's Professor and professor of medicine and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the IU School of Medicine and research scientist with the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. received $1.5 million in funding to establish one of five institutions comprising the Health Information Technology Resource Center, created to provide assistance to the 166 new grantees nationwide.

"That the Indiana University School of Medicine/Regenstrief Institute has received this impressive amount of funding recognizes our national leadership in using health information technology as a tool to implement innovation and improve the practice of everyday medicine," said Dr. Tierney.

Gunther Schadow, M.D., also of the Regenstrief Institute and the IU School of Medicine, received a grant of $1.3 million to study how electronic prescribing can easily be integrated into a provider's practice.

The only grant to an Indiana recipient other than the IU School of Medicine was to Morgan County Hospital and Medical Center, Martinsville, IN which received $1.5 million to improve healthcare though health information technology in a rural setting including working with the Indiana Health Information Exchange to provide clinical messaging services.

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