Advisory Group Adjust: Deven McGraw, National Partnership for Women and Families

Deven McGraw is the Chief Operating Officer of the National Partnership for Women and Families and brought terrific community-centric perspectives to the discussion, through her work with the Partnership and also through her expertise on health information technology issues.

She serves on the Privacy, Confidentiality, Security Workgroup of the American Health Information Community and is our link to that organization. She is working on defining what the best privacy and security protections are for consumers. She is also active in policy issues and specifically empowering consumer groups to impact ways that systems are shaped. This includes access, and also beyond access to issues related to the quality of care once access is achieved. New developments for her work include work to provide technical assistance to state-based organization.

The Adjust: Deven talked with us about creating “workable models in a community where people enjoy what they have.” This was key in that the measure of success will come from the people who are being served rather than the care providers, and this is what a federal system can point to and scale. With this in mind, we are going to gather information about community and consumer involvement as we work with organizations. As we just got back from Boston, we already started bringing this into the conversation. It is critical because when adoption of PCHIT by patients is at issue, it is relevant to look at their involvement. Another adjust at this point is to think about how this work will support policy activities – we really have not defined that at this point (and purposefully, from my perspective, to get experience at the practice level). From here, though, we should begin investing in awareness of the work of the National Partnership and other policy experts to shape this work for that audience.


To build on Ted's "Adjust," part of what I got from Deven's comments was for us to think more specifically about strategies for engaging consumers themselves in the solution development process. We need to make sure that our shadowing goes outside the traditional care delivery setting (more on this in a blog post later today). We need to find ways to gain insights from consumers directly, while ensuring that we do it all with complete respect for the privacy and confidentiality.

Part of this challenge (and certainly part of the work of Deven and the National Partnership) is creatively thinking about how to empower consumer organizations to get more involved proactively in EHR/PHR adoption. Many consumer organizations have done important work on privacy and security, but we also need to encourage them to engage in PCHIT-oriented efforts more holistically.


Ted Eytan, MD