TRENTON - Commissioner Steven M. Goldman of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance today announced the approval of a federal grant to fund a $349,000 health information security and privacy solutions pilot study. Granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to 34 states across the nation, the study is the next step toward instituting an electronic health records system in New Jersey.
The study, set to be completed by March 2007, is part of a long-term project spearheaded by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and HINT/HIPAA Task Force which began last year in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and Thomas Edison State College. The project calls for the development and implementation of electronic medical records statewide, and includes promoting the conversion process of medical data to electronic form. In its research, the Task Force has pledged to address questions of security, privacy and electronic medical record ownership. Electronic medical records reduce medical errors and unnecessary tests by allowing physicians to easily and efficiently share patients' medical records.
“Governor Corzine has expressed his commitment to the increased use of technology in streamlining government and delivering services to the public,” said Commissioner Goldman. “The electronic medical records transfer program is part of that effort. We at the Department look forward to working with all of our public and private partners to implement the system in a manner that is as quick, secure and effective as possible.”
The goal of the intensive one-year study is to review and identify health information security and privacy solutions for an electronic health information exchange that is interoperable. The efficiency of an electronic health records system would reduce the cost of medical treatment and healthcare benefits for New Jersey consumers.
“We continue to move forward with this study and the electronic health records program that has captured our imagination,” said Insurance Director Donald Bryan. “We recognize that there is a tremendous incentive to make the goal of this ambitious project a reality.”