Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt created a healthcare technology task force this week to study how the state can encourage the use of electronic medical records that can more easily be shared among doctors, hospitals, pharmacists and other medical providers. The task force is the first step toward recommending how to spend $25 million that Blunt has proposed for a new healthcare technology fund.
''This will help reduce costs with improved outcomes for Missouri patients,'' the governor said. The 14-member task, to be led by Department of Health and Senior Services Director Julie Eckstein, is to study the cost and issues involved in adopting ''interoperable healthcare information technology,'' and identify private resources that could help fund it.
Eckstein said part of the goal is to develop a computer system platform that could allow patients' medical histories to be accessed by any physician who treats them.