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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Electronic Health Records: The Time is Now

HIMSS Explains Three Reasons to Support Pres. Obama's Call to Computerize All Health Records Within Five Years

CHICAGO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), representing more than 20,000 individual members -- of which 73% work in provider settings -- and 350 corporate members, today announced its support for the health information technology (IT) provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan of 2009 proposed by Congress. HIMSS believes the inclusion of funding for health IT is essential if we are to meet President Obama's goal of computerized health records for all Americans by 2014.

HIMSS cites three reasons to support the investment in health IT:

1. The economy will benefit

According to research by IBM and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, investing $10 billion in Electronic Health Records (EHR) and other health IT projects would create 212,000 jobs. Furthermore, multiple independent studies have shown substantial return on investment for health IT -- ranging from 10-year savings of $530 billion to annual savings of $77.8 billion -- which could help lower healthcare costs.

2. Patients will benefit

When used properly, EHR systems can help keep patients safe by alerting clinicians to harmful drug interactions or allergic reactions to prescribed medicines and helping clinicians manage the health of patients with complex chronic conditions. Also, evidence of improvements in patient health associated with IT has been shown, including reductions in patient mortality rates and the average length of hospital stays.

3. Doctors will benefit

Survey results published in The New England Journal of Medicine show that 66 percent of doctors who have not adopted an EHR system cited cost as the biggest barrier to adoption. Of the physicians who reported having a fully functioning EHR system, 93 percent were generally satisfied with the systems and 82 percent reported positive effects of the system on the quality of clinical decisions. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office reports that multiple physician liability insurance firms offer discounts to practices that have adopted EHR systems.

In December 2008, HIMSS released A Call for Action: Enabling Healthcare Reform Using Information Technology, outlining specific priorities and recommendations for the Obama Administration and 111th Congress in regards to health IT.

To view an extended version of this news release, including source information for research and statistics, visit

SOURCE Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

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Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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