Maryland could become a national leader for health IT by 2012, if Gov. Martin O’Malley gets his way.
The Maryland governor Tuesday announced his goal to position the state as an authority for health IT innovation at a roundtable forum with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, medical system presidents, hospital chief executive officers, and state officials.
“Our healthcare sector is projected to grow by more than 20 percent by 2018, when it will employ a projected 264,000 people in our state,” O’Malley said. “There is a clear connection between the health of our fellow citizens, and the health of jobs and our economy. Advancing our vision for health IT will further this progress, and help us advance toward our goals for creating and saving jobs, and improving the quality of care in our state while reigning in costs.”
O’Malley detailed the steps to take to achieve this vision with a plan including developing a statewide, secure electronic health information network, promoting the implementation of electronic health records, and recruiting more health IT professionals.
“Since Gov. O’Malley and I first took office four years ago, Maryland has emerged as a national leader in healthcare and has been recognized by our federal partners for our work to build an innovative model health information exchange,” Brown said. “Developing a successful exchange model using electronic health records will enable Maryland to set the foundation for effective implementation of health reform and bring the healthcare industry into the 21st century.”
Maryland is home to some of the world’s most respected medical institutions, including Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, which 20 years in a row placed first in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of more than 4,800 American hospitals. In 2008, there were more than 219,000 healthcare-related jobs in Maryland, and by 2018, that number is expected to grow to nearly 264,000.