Bush Administration Warns Health Care Industry to Computerize

19 Feb ’05

Via NYT, a warning from a senior health care official in the Bush Administration to the health care industry to focus on computerizing the industry.  The Bush Administration has made the health care e-record a focus of its health care platform in its second term.  Money quotes:

Dr. David J. Brailer, the federal official who is trying to prod the nation’s health care system into the computer age, has delivered a warning to the health care industry: take steps soon to make it happen or the government will probably impose a solution.

Across the ideological spectrum, health care experts and politicians agree that the nation’s hodgepodge of paper medical files needs to move into the digital era, so that eventually each person has an electronic health record that can travel across networks and be read by doctors, hospitals, insurers and the patients themselves. Doing so, the thinking goes, would reduce medical errors, improve health care and save money.

Congress has been doing its own prodding on the matter, with another bill introduced this week. Trying to pick up the pace, Dr. Brailer, in meetings with health care and technology executives here at their industry’s big annual convention, has told them to come up with a single set of technical standards for electronic health records.

The approach, he said, must include a method to certify that the records can be opened and read by doctors and specialists, as authorized by the patient, even when different clinics and hospitals have different computer systems.

Another opportunity to keep this warning in mind.


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