President Bushs 2008 budget proposal will request new funds to support a rapid-learning healthcare system that uses data from electronic health records to accelerate clinical research, according to Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Health information technology is just the starting point in creating an information-rich healthcare system, and electronic health records can make that information available when its needed, said Clancy. Clancy spoke at a news conference sponsored by the journal Health Affairs, which published a special supplement on a rapid-learning health system.
Such a system would include private- and public-sector initiatives drawing on data from the electronic health records of millions of people to rapidly advance the evidence base for clinical care, according to researchers.
The data could answer why costs are increasing, what risks and benefits are associated with prescription drugs and how the environment affects disease patterns.