Healthcare IT and Management Systems and the 2008 Democratic Platform

Background In an effort to ensure that the topics of healthcare information technology (healthcare IT) and management systems are appropriately addressed and included in policy developed and supported by the Democratic Party for 2008 – 2012, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is providing the Presidential Campaign of Senator Barack Obama and the Platform Committee of the 2008 National Democratic Convention with recommended text for inclusion in the 2008 Democratic Platform. In his campaign to date, Senator Obama advocated for healthcare IT as a means to lowering healthcare costs and improving the quality of healthcare. Specifically, Senator Obama calls for: • Requiring participating insurance companies, in his proposed national health plan, to report data to ensure that standards for quality, healthcare IT, and administration are being met. • A $10 billion a year investment over the next five years to move the U.S. healthcare system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records, and will phase in requirements for full implementation of healthcare IT. He will also ensure that patients’ privacy is protected.

Healthcare IT Submission to the 2008 Democratic Platform Improving the Efficiency of Healthcare: Through the appropriate use of healthcare IT and management systems, we have a real opportunity to transform the delivery of healthcare, making healthcare more affordable, safer, and accessible for all Americans. The use of such applications as electronic health records, electronic personal health records, and electronic prescribing in healthcare delivery, can not only reduce unwarranted healthcare costs and errors, but also improve patient engagement in their overall health decisions. We will work to ensure that incentives are made available to support the adoption of healthcare IT and that policy is enacted which promotes the integration of IT into the delivery of patient care and health and wellness initiatives, while helping to ensure the privacy and security of personal health information. HIMSS Since 1961, HIMSS has been the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare IT and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Today, with offices in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Washington D.C., Brussels, and other locations across the United States and the world, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 350 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. For more information, please visit www.himss.org. HIMSS Contact: Tom Keefe, HIMSS Senior Director for State Government Relations -tkeefe@himss.org