What They’re Watching: Rep. Raymond Ward, Utah Legislature


Eli Kirshbaum


Through his work in the Utah Legislature, Republican Rep. Raymond Ward (R – Bountiful) is primarily focused on increasing health data interoperability in the state. In this “What They’re Watching” interview, Ward outlined his work on this front and how he plans to pursue the issue during the interim.

A bill he sponsored during this year’s legislative session, which ended in March, would have created a centralized health information exchange in Utah. The bill didn’t cross the finish line, but Ward remains committed to improving data sharing in Utah’s healthcare sector. He says taking a patient-centric approach is key in promoting access to health data.

“There needs to be more support from the community—that is, both healthcare organizations who come in and say, ‘These are services that we owe to our patients,’ and from individuals who say, ‘It’s not right that my own health information isn’t where I need it.’ We’re used to thinking of a macro level, and we’re used to thinking of large public health projects.

I don’t think that’s the right way to go about this. I think public health projects and databases are a very secondary issue that are not as important as individual patients having access to their own information when and where they need it.”