As the use of health information technology (health IT) grows in both the United States and the United Kingdom, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.K. Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt today signed a bi-lateral agreement for the use and sharing of health IT information and tools. The agreement strengthens efforts to cultivate and increase the use of health IT tools and information designed to help improve the quality and efficiency of the delivery of health care in both countries. The two Secretaries signed the agreement at the Annual Meeting of the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
"While we have very different health care delivery systems and payment models, we both face similar challenges posed by aging populations, increased levels of co-morbid chronic disease, and escalating complexity of care delivery and costs," Secretary Sebelius said. "By working together, we can more effectively take on these challenges, improve the health IT economy, and the health of the American and British populations."
The agreement signals a formal commitment by both countries to collaborate to advance the applications of data and technology to improve health.
"This is a ground-breaking agreement that will help both of our countries use information and technology more effectively to improve care, safety and give people more control over their health, which is now even more important as we transcend care boundaries," said Secretary Hunt. "By bringing knowledge together this will not only offer insight into tackling common problems across health IT, but through innovation, it will help small to medium enterprises play an effective role in our healthcare market. I would like to thank all involved in making this agreement happen and look forward to collaborating across our health IT economies."