As a coalition, we have worked throughout this past legislative year to raise awareness about, and advocate for, meaningful investment in health data infrastructure in California — work that resulted in the passage of AB 133 this summer. That is, in part, why we were thrilled to see the first meeting of the Data Exchange Framework Stakeholder Advisory Group on August 31. This first meeting was simultaneously a significant achievement, and merely a first step, on the road to a better future for data exchange in our state.
To begin the meeting, the overall vision for the future of health infrastructure was laid out visually — in contrast with the present:
The universality of this vision — encompassing all patients and providers, no matter how they get their care, or where they live — is to be lauded.
To that end, we appreciated Secretary Ghaly’s opening vision statement: “Every Californian, and the health and human service providers and organizations that care for them, will have timely and secure access to electronic information that is needed to address their health and social needs and enable the effective delivery of services to improve their lives and wellbeing.”
As a coalition, we believe strongly that health equity must remain a top priority throughout the stakeholder advisory group process — because health data infrastructure is a historic opportunity to advance health equity for every California community.
Indeed, as Secretary Ghaly said, “When I think about some of the key drivers of equity…to lift up the boat that is sinking the fastest, we really do need that transparency of information…I can’t think of a more important issue that delivers on equity.”
Other members of the group expressed a similar focus on health equity — a discussion that we hope continues in the group’s subsequent meetings.
We look forward to the Stakeholder Advisory Group’s second meeting on October 7, where this exciting discussion will continue — because this work is critical, and we do not have time to waste.