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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

State e-governance: Technology and the regulation of health professions

Elizabeth A. Graddy, PhD1, Michael B. Nichol, PhD2, Eduard Hovy, PhD3, and Aleece J. Kelly1. (1) School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern Calfiornia, 551 S. Gramercy Pl. #4, Los Angeles, CA 90020, (213) 381-9330, aleeceke@usc.edu, (2) Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, University of Southern Calfiornia, CHP 140, 1540 East Alcazar Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089, (3) Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern Calfiornia, 4676 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

This roundtable discussion will focus on the relationship between structure of regulation of health professionals and states' utilization of digital governance. Recent reductions in state funding have led many state governments to consider centralizing occupational regulation, with the promise of decreased costs, increased efficiency and standardization. This trend may have profound impacts, however, on the oversight of health practitioners, and thus the quality of care provided to consumers. Some functions of regulation may benefit from centralization (e.g., license administration or communication between consumers and regulators regarding health professions and practitioners). Other functions, e.g., adjudication and development of appropriate regulations, may be harmed by a loss of professional expertise through the consolidation of multiple regulatory boards into a single agency.

The trend to expand digital governance and increase the use of information technology by state agencies offers many of the benefits of centralization, including increased efficiency, standardization, and ease of communication, while not eliminating the expertise associated with individual professions. This discussion will explore the use of digital governance as a substitute for regulatory centralization. Participants will examine the following questions: What are the functions of health occupation regulatory boards or agencies? Which regulatory functions would benefit from centralization? Which regulatory functions may be harmed by centralization? How can digital governance be used by state agencies to improve the regulation of health professions? In what ways may digital governance replace the functions of structural centralization?

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Information Technology, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Technology Adoption and Health Administration

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA