More than 60% of top hospital IT executives responding a survey said they plan to deploy computerized electronic health records over the next year, according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS), which released the survey results at its annual meeting here.
Last month, President Bush strongly backed the use of electronic health records in his State of the Union address, saying that computerizing health records would help "avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs and improve care." An electronic health record consists of computerized patient information -- including background medical history, charts and digitized diagnostic information -- that is viewable and accessible by patients and their doctors.
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House and now head of the Center for Health Transformation in Washington, said at an HIMMS news conference that he would like to see a crash effort to develop standards, which would make the use of electronic health records possible by this September.
Gingrich said the development of standards for electronic health records -- which would convert many of today's paper-based health care records into digital information -- is "not rocket science" and would help cut unnecessary costs from the nation's multitrillion-dollar health care budget. He cited as an example the massive, multibillion-dollar National Health Care IT project in the United Kingdom, which is designed to provide every person in England with an electronic record.
News source: ComputerWorld