eHealth Initiative Applauds President’s Call for Expansion of Healthcare Information Technology
Washington, DC, 01/28/2005 -- Calling it a great start this year for improving healthcare through information technology (IT), eHealth Initiative (eHI) CEO Janet M. Marchibroda commended President George W. Bush’s remarks and proposal today for $125 million in federal spending to support healthcare IT demonstration projects. The President’s proposal was announced as part of his visit to the Cleveland Clinic, where he was accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and National Coordinator David J. Brailer, MD, to discuss the benefits of computerized medical records. C. Martin Harris, MD, Chief Information Officer of the Cleveland Clinic and eHealth Initiative Board member, was part of today’s program.
In his remarks, the President highlighted the value of IT in saving lives, in helping patients become more involved in decision-making and in saving money for the American people. While noting some of the challenges to implementation, particularly those experienced by small physician practices in moving from paper-based to electronic health records, the President also highlighted the many benefits. Additionally, the President talked about the federal government’s role, not only in setting strategy, but in providing funding to encourage the development of regional hubs. “This,” said Marchibroda, “along with payment changes that assure the sustainability of these health information networks, will lay the foundation for a more efficient, safer, and higher quality healthcare system.”
Further, Marchibroda stated, “We are encouraged by the President’s recognition of IT’s importance in improving patient care and the many challenges that need to be addressed for our healthcare system to get there. His commitment to providing grant funding to stimulate innovation and the development of regional hubs to start the process will accelerate activities in communities nationwide.”
eHI has launched several working groups and initiatives that are tackling issues related to financing, supporting small physician practices as they transition to IT, and providing both seed funding and technical support to state, regional and community-based health information exchange initiatives across the country. Information regarding these activities (the Working Group for Financing and Incentives, the Working Group for HIT in Small Practices, and the Working Group for Connecting Communities, along with the Connecting Communities for Better Health Program) can be found at www.ehealthinitiative.org/initiatives/programs/
The eHealth Initiative and the Foundation for eHealth Initiative are independent, non-profit affiliated organizations whose missions are the same: to drive improvement in the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology. For more information on eHI and the Foundation for eHealth Initiative, go to www.ehealthinitiative.org.
Note to Editors: On March 6-8, 2005, eHI hosts its Health Information Summit West in San Francisco, CA. For more information, see www.HITsummit.com.
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