Executive SummaryRecommendations for the Obama Administration and the 111
Congress© 2008 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
Enabling Healthcare ReformUsing Information Technology
Recommendations for the Obama Administration and the 111
*Please note that the recommendations included in the report have been updated toreflect newly enacted health IT provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
Call to Action:
2009 is the year for healthcare reform in the United States. HIMSS believes thatthat lives can be saved, outcomes of care improved, and costs reduced by transforming thehealthcare system through the appropriate use of information technology (IT) and managementsystems. It is essential that health IT be harnessed as a tool in transforming healthcare, improvingquality by delivering information where and when it is most needed, reducing costs, empoweringconsumers in their healthcare decisions, and providing for the privacy and security of personalhealth information.To ensure that health IT is appropriately addressed in anticipated healthcare reform policy in2009, HIMSS developed unified recommendations for the new Congress and Administrationconcerning the role of health IT in healthcare reform. The recommendations represent necessarymeasures to develop and sustain a robust IT infrastructure for healthcare. Policymakers shouldconsider the recommendations components of the necessary foundation to strengthen and sustainthe success of their healthcare reform legislation, proposals, and regulation policies.
Healthcare Reform and the Promise of Health IT:
With healthcare spending in the US totalingmore than $2 trillion a year
and 45 million people in the US lacking health insurance,
healthcarereform must be a top priority for the Obama Administration and the 111
As a proventool for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare, health IT is essential tohealthcare reform policy. In preparation for the 111
Congress, Members are already engaged inhealthcare reform deliberations, through such initiatives as the formation of workgroups and thedevelopment of healthcare reform reports. As part of his healthcare platform during thepresidential campaign, Senator Barack Obama called fora $10 billion-a-year investment over thenext five years to foster the broad adoption of health IT.
In addition, as President-elect, Barack Obama is now consideringincluding health IT as part of an economic stimulus package to beintroduced in early 2009.
Health IT, such as electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records (EHRs), personalhealth records (PHRs), payor-based health records (PBHRs), and electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), shows promise for transforming the delivery and payment of healthcare in the US,and improving population health and the overall efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare. The