Effective use of health care information holds the promise of improved care and reduced health costs. A number of challenges must, however, be met. Incentives for using information must be introduced. A code of practice for using patient data to allay confidentiality concerns is needed. An institution is needed to accelerate the development of health information standards. Awareness must be raised about the opportunities provided by more effective use of information. Champions are needed to create the required information-intensive infrastructures.