eHealth Initiative's New Connecting Communities Toolkit Will Lay the Foundation for Third Annual Connecting Communities Learning Forum April 9-11, 2006 in Washington, D.C.

Contact: Katie Sawyer
Phone: 202.624.3287

WASHINGTON DC USA -- HEALTHCARE UPDATE NEWS SERVICE(TM) -- FEBRUARY 2, 2006: This week, the eHealth Initiative (eHI) released the Connecting Communities Toolkit-the next generation of tools to improve healthcare through HIT adoption and health information exchange. The eHI Toolkit is a structured, how-to synthesis of principles and tools designed to equip states, regions and local communities with the information and expertise to begin or advance health information exchange initiatives and organizations to drive improvements in healthcare. It offers insight into areas crucial to start-up and successful survival such as organization and governance, value creation and financing, practice transformation and quality, information-sharing policies, technical aspects and public policy and advocacy. The Toolkit is available online at

Join eHI and hundreds of communities, policy movers, and national leaders from every sector of healthcare at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. April 9-11, 2006 to network and learn more about the Toolkit during the Third Annual Connecting Communities Learning Forum and Exhibition,

Confirmed speakers for the eHealth Initiative Connecting Communities event include:

Carolyn Clancy, M.D. Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Health and Human Services
Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Mr. Kevin Hutchinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, SureScripts
Mr. Charles N. Kahn III, President, Federation of American Hospitals
Mr. Scott P. Serota, President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
John Tooker, MD, MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, American College of Physicians

Please make your hotel reservations and register now!

"The eHI Connecting Communities Toolkit provides guidance at a time when many state and local leaders need help," said J. Marc Overhage, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the Indiana Health Information Exchange and co-chair of eHI's Connecting Communities membership. "Given the rapid increase in the awareness of how health information exchange can improve healthcare, many leaders are moving beyond the awareness stage and are now asking, 'how do we get started and how do we navigate through all of the information now emerging from national and local efforts?'. The Toolkit will help communities track emerging national policies and extend them the benefit from the experiences of their colleagues in the field, who are grappling with the many aspects of health information exchange implementation."

For more information for more information about the Toolkit and eHI's upcoming Connecting Communities Learning Forum please visit


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