Celebrating Health IT Week

National Health IT Week 

We're excited this week to celebrate National Health IT Week--a celebration of the important role health information technology (Health IT) plays in improving the delivery of healthcare in the US. 

Across America, and around the world, technology is changing our everyday way of life. Now, Health IT represents a significant opportunity to drive collaboration across our U.S. healthcare system and use advances in information technology to do two things: improve health outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

Health IT includes many different technologies: electronic medical records (which many of us are already experiencing at our doctor's offices), advanced health analytics, mobile health apps, and the digital exchange of health information, just to name a few. These technologies are rapidly transforming healthcare as we know it. Consider these facts from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology: physician's use of electronic medical records grew from 18% in 2001 to 57% in 2011, 93% of US community pharmacies now have e-Prescribing capability, and 17 million consumers used mobile devices to access health information in 2011.

So what's driving the adoption of Health IT?  It's no secret that the rising cost of healthcare in the United States is becoming unsustainable. The US ranks highest in per capita healthcare costs in the world.  Every year in the United States, chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer cause 7 out of every 10 deaths and account for about 75% of the $2 trillion we spend on medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Today, the U.S. is taking positive steps to reform how healthcare is paid for and delivered to ensure we are all providing greater value for our healthcare dollars, and putting the patient at the center of everything we do. Health IT plays a critical role in the success of these changes.

At GSK, we believe in a US healthcare system focused on ensuring quality, lowering health care costs and enhancing the health of both individuals and society. As mentioned in a previous post, in June we were delighted to host Farzad Mostashari and his leadership team from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) at our offices in Washington, DC for an inspiring discussion on accelerating Health IT for the US.

We're also trying to do our part.Today, GSK and Community Care of North Carolina announced the initiation of a new approach to analyzing health information that allows healthcare providers and payers, with the touch of a button, to analyze patients' medication challenges in real time to determine effective ways to overcome barriers to delivering quality care. (Read the full press release here.)

At GSK, our mission is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. Health IT is a key enabler of moving healthcare forward.