Symposium on eHealth  
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Center for Health Research
California HealthCare Foundation

There has been much discussion about the use of clinical connectivity to improve provider-patient relationships and health care outcomes. A 1999 Institute of Medicine report estimated that 98,000 patient deaths per year are due to medical errors-errors that could be substantially reduced through such means as automated drug order entry and better communication between and among providers. The second IOM report, Crossing the Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, underscored the importance of information technologies in system redesign.

Although many new digital devices have been successfully used to improve patient care and reduce costs, a recent study indicated that only 13% of providers are taking advantage of these new digital technologies. Among the reasons for this slow adoption rate are the lack of investment capital, the complexity of health systems, and simple personal resistance to change.

The Symposium on eHealth & Technology examined the above issues and develop specific actions for removing the barriers to more rapid and widespread diffusion of digital technologies in the provision of care to improve patient outcomes throughout California and the nation at large.

The conference bought together a faculty of over 60 leading health care executives, clinicians, new technology thinkers, and health service researchers, and over 250 of California’s health care leaders for a series of practical and interactive sessions to discuss the implications of technology innovation and the Internet for the provision of health care services in California.

The Symposium on eHealth & Technology Stategies to Improve Care Delivery in California was an invitation-only conference sponsored by the Center for Health Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and supported by a grant from the California HealthCare Foundation.

The Center for Health Research is a group of over 60 faculty researchers on the Berkeley and San Francisco campuses of the University of California. Its members come from many of the social sciences: economics, demography, political science, public health, business, psychology, social welfare, and sociology.

Established in January 2001, the Center for Health Research serves as a forum for bringing together social scientists and other investigators across the campus to address the many challenging issues facing the health sector of society. It is an integral component of the University's overall Health Sciences Initiative. The Center aspires to be one of the nation's leaders for producing new understanding of the multiple factors affecting health, health care delivery, and technological innovation.

The California HealthCare Foundation, based in Oakland, California, is a non-profit philanthropic organization whose mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of the people of California.