Health information technology (IT) has great potential to transform health care and inform population health goals in clinical research, quality measurement, and public safety. To fully realize the benefits of health IT for population health, we must focus on new models that maximize efficiency, encourage rapid learning, and protect patients’ privacy. In this paper we explore the advantages of a networked model for analyzing population health information, providing several examples. Although broadening the use of networked models is challenging, the societal benefits of a networked model merit continued exploration and the development of workable solutions.
Technology should enable researchers, practitioners, and public health officials to share data across networks, while protecting patients’ privacy.