Working Together for Child Welfare

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By Bill O’Leary, Director of Health & Human Services, Microsoft

The Obama administration, through the stimulus package has made Health IT a priority and a cornerstone of healthcare reform. The idea that information can be shared throughout the delivery chain has a great opportunity to produce cost savings in healthcare, but it has even more significance for improving quality outcomes.

In the area of family and child welfare, Microsoft has been working for several years with partners and customers to promote a Connected Health and Human Services framework. Timely information in the hands of the right individuals can be the difference between a positive outcome and tragedy in child welfare. This is why we are so excited to be a part of the public/private partnership announced last week in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

This partnership builds on the work Microsoft and others have been doing to promote collaboration and interoperability through technology in HHS. The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children and Montgomery County are working with the Stewards of Change, Microsoft and Motorola to build a system that embodies the spirit of collaboration, allows for the integration of legacy systems and takes advantage of the mobile devices to address the reality that most case work does happen in the “field.”

This partnership will produce a system that will revolutionize Montgomery County and will even serve as a model of efficiency and cost reduction for other parts of the nation. But the true, end result will be a stronger safety net for families in need.

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