By Wendy Sarubbi | June 25, 2012 2:06 pm

Academy Health, a national organization dedicated to improving the quality, accessibility and value of health care, met at the College of Medicine June 22 to discuss improving care through innovation, evidence-based medicine and community outreach.

“Transforming Health and Health Care: Focus on Florida” included physicians, educators, health care providers, economists, local, state and federal health leaders, and researchers.  The goal of the meeting was to bring together health stakeholders to address the needs of an evolving health care system.

Dr. Deborah German, dean of the College of Medicine, welcomed the group and reviewed the unique health care partnerships happening at Lake Nona’s medical city. “The work you want to do is the reason I came to Central Florida…building a new medical school in a medical city that’s a stone’s throw away from an international airport,” she said. “We want to be part of the solution.”

The meeting focused on helping local leaders better meet community needs, including how to eliminate waste, serve diverse populations and increase innovation. Key themes included:

  • The need for additional and faster research information for all areas of health service. Attendees said they need more evidence to help them make decisions, especially research on serving communities suffering from health care disparities.
  • The need for innovation in delivering creative solutions to health care, including blurring the traditional roles played by providers, policymakers, and payers.

Jeanette Schreiber, the College of Medicine’s associate vice president for medical affairs and chief legal officer, spoke about the role of health IT in improving patient. She said electronic health records and health information exchanges are the “bedrock” of transforming care by eliminating duplication of tests and improving communication and coordination of care. “We’re building a healthier community thorough connectivity,” she said.

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