AT&T Examines Healthcare Technology Solutions with Virtual CIO Roundtable

Senior Healthcare IT Executives in Six Major Markets Discuss Leading Strategies and Challenges for Healthcare it in the Coming Years

Dallas, Texas, February 4, 2010


Demonstrating the power of new technology to facilitate ‘face-to-face’ meetings more quickly, more often and expand participation in the dialogue on important global and domestic U.S. issues, AT&T* yesterday used its AT&T Telepresence Solution to bring together leading information technology executives and healthcare experts from across the U.S. to participate in a dialogue about the ever-increasing role of technology in healthcare solutions.

“As the national conversation surrounding the U.S. healthcare system continues to develop, technology innovations and applications will be central in creating greater operational and cost efficiencies, as well as improving patient care,” said Dr. Denise W. Hines, vice president of government solutions and education, HealthNovation.

Eight technology and healthcare executives located in six U.S. cities met via AT&T Telepresence Solution to discuss current and future strategies for addressing growing healthcare needs and rising costs. The AT&T Telepresence Solution, an immersive video technology enabled by Cisco TelePresence™, allowed participants to interact face-to-face through ultra-high definition 1080p screens, creating the experience of being in the same room with other participants.

CIOs across the U.S. shared similar situations and strategies for enhancing their companies’ patient care and operational efficiencies through healthcare IT solutions. Some of the main themes from the roundtable included:

Using Resources Efficiently. Time, financial and human resources must be used efficiently and with prioritization to achieve aggressive implementation deadlines to receive grants and other funding. Some organizations are targeting internal departments or groups with a strong technology appetite to lead adoption efforts.

Establishing a Solid Infrastructure. Health information exchanges (HIEs), the transfer of electronic medical records and patient portals depend on a solid, reliable network infrastructure. Without this network foundation, companies compromise physicians’ and customers’ experience.

Sponsoring Technology Adoption. A knowledgeable and on-board healthcare workforce is necessary to reach improved healthcare goals. In addition to training, companies are seeking internal physician or practitioner sponsorship of new technology to expedite its integration into daily practice.

Connecting Multiple HIEs. Several HIEs exist within a state or even single healthcare system. Senior IT executives must work collaboratively with partners and vendors to ensure quick customization and compatibility of disparate systems into larger health ecosystems.

Developing Information Highways.Data warehousing and mining are current areas of exploration for some healthcare IT executives. Many are not looking to create new electronic repositories, but rather develop information highways that combine multiple information input into a meaningful, useful output of relevant, accurate information.

Measuring Success. In addition to traditional financial metrics, healthcare CIOs are examining quality controls, user adoption rates and improved patient care indicators to measure the success of healthcare IT initiatives.

“AT&T understands the importance of technology in improving healthcare efficiencies and increasing collaboration across the country,” said Mike Coffey, senior vice president of compensation, benefits and policy, AT&T. “Sharing information – whether visually via AT&T Telepresence Solution or through an electronic medical record – is an essential element in achieving America’s common healthcare goals of decreased cost and improved care.”

Roundtable participants included senior IT executives in New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area. Bernie Monegain, editor of Healthcare IT News, served as moderator, and Hines, vice president of government solutions and education at HealthNovation, shared key insights into the current healthcare reform landscape.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T | DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.

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