Monday, December 09, 2013 WEDI Report Sees More Patient Control in Health Care's Future The influential Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) has released what it calls a new "roadmap" for the future of health care, and a high level of consumer control is one of the primary destinations. The newest WEDI report (.pdf) comes 20 years after its initial examination of the use of technology in health care. The 1993 report played an influential role in the development of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as the transition to standardized transaction formats in payment. The newest report focuses on 4 major areas: patient engagement, payment models, data harmonization and exchange, and "innovative encounter models." Although approaches and priorities differ in each area, the WEDI report emphasizes the need for greater coordination of technologies, both to make information-sharing more efficient and to provide consumers with a high degree of control over their own care and information. "Health IT is not the cure in and of itself but, when adequately deployed, can serve as a powerful change agent," the report states. "The rise of mobile and other technologies creates many opportunities for the healthcare industry to move forward together to solve many of the challenges that have plagued the American healthcare system."