Obama administration plans to push for electronic medical records

Although his inauguration does not take place until next week, President-elect Barack Obama is making his voice heard now about electronic health records, reports Information Week. Obama said he wants all medical records to be digital within the next five years. The federal government would fund this project as part of Obama's plan for economic stimulation. This timeframe aligns with the Bush administration's goal of having most American's health data stored in an electronic fashion.


President-elect Barack Obama said he wants the federal government to invest in electronic health records so all medical records are digitized within five years. Obama announced the plans and the deadline during a speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on Thursday. Obama's speech indicated he wants all Americans' health records to be stored electronically, while Bush specified that "most" Americans' health information should be stored electronically. It's unclear exactly what health information he wants stored electronically. For example, some software allows doctors' notes and prescriptions to be entered and stored in electronic form. Other programs offer pull-down menus for tests and diagnosis but lack features for storing doctors' observations and notes on smaller details, such as health care providers' conversations with patients.


Obama said that he is pushing for electronic health records so strongly because they would reduce the number of medical errors, as well as waste and the number of medical tests that patients undergo. To read the article, click here.


(SOURCE: HCPro Patient Safety Monitor, http://hcpro.com, January 7, 2009; The New York Times, http://nytimes.com, accessed January 7, 2009)