Gov. Fletcher Announces Statewide Electronic Health Records Program
Kentucky has launched a statewide electronic health records (EHRs) program by creating a database of newborn babies that may be updated by medical professionals throughout the course of their lives. It is one of several e-health initiatives currently under way in Kentucky.
Gov. Fletcher recently commented about the need for a new method of recordkeeping, since the complexity of modern medicine and the tendency for patients to seek the service of multiple specialists necessitates a better method of record sharing.
As a component of data sharing, EHRs allow the state to search the database and anonymously identify the frequency of chronic diseases such as emphysema and diabetes. This allows the state to target public health education efforts with the goal of reducing the state's cost of healthcare.
Additional information technology health initiatives include Kentucky's e-prescribing program. This helps doctors avoid duplicative and conflicting prescriptions, which is especially important considering that the state’s population has been using prescription drugs at two or three times the national rate.
An e-Health Network Board, working with the state government’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is coordinating Kentucky’s IT Health initiatives.