WSR 08-05-053




[ January 3, 2007 ]



Quality, Accountability and Transparency

WHEREAS, the health care system in Washington State has many strengths, including world class health care institutions and dedicated health care providers, improvements can and must be made to promote increased quality, accountability, and transparency in health care;

Washington State, as a purchaser of health care services for 1.3 million Washingtonians, has a key role in creating a marketplace that emphasizes performance and accountability, by tracking performance measures and making this information transparent for consumers;

Consumers expect to receive health care services that meet their needs, that prevent serious or chronic illness or disability, and that are based on the best scientific knowledge available;

Private sector health care purchasers, insurers and benefit administrators, providers, and consumers alike need good information to make appropriate health care decisions;

Health information technology is expanding our capacity to gather, analyze, and share crucial health information; and

Time and money are wasted on unnecessary medical procedures when information is not adequately shared.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, on the occasion of initiating the Puget Sound Health Alliance National Pilot Project charter, recommit to making Washington State a leader in the way we buy and use health care and to:

Emphasize evidence-based health care. Support the State Health Technology Assessment Program in order to eliminate costly, ineffective and dated treatments that have either been shown to be unsafe, to not work, or have been replaced with better treatments.
Better manage chronic diseases. Continue to develop models of care for those with chronic illnesses by contracting with providers that can demonstrate improved care.
Make better use of information technology. Legislation passed in 2005 sets a statewide goal to have all hospitals, integrated delivery systems, and providers adopt health information technologies by 2012. Build on the recommendations of the Health Information Infrastructure Advisory Board to meet this goal.
Promote prevention, healthy lifestyles, and healthy choices. Include performance measures in state health contracts to foster better health outcomes such as improved vaccination rates, smoking cessation, and physical activity.
Create more transparency in the health care system. Support the Puget Sound Health Alliance and its efforts to provide Washingtonians with accurate, consistent information on the quality and cost of health care services.

These efforts shall continue to be coordinated by the Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, the Secretary of the Department of Health, and the Administrator of the Health Care Authority in partnership with the federal and local governments, private sector health purchasers, and other stakeholders in our state's health care system.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington, on this 3rd day of January 2007, at Seattle, Washington.
Christine O. Gregoire
Sam Reed
Secretary of State

Washington State Code Reviser's Office