HIMSS14: Clinton Lauds EHRs, Underscores Data-Driven Decisions

February 27, 2014 in News

During the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual conference on Wednesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton underscored the importance of electronic health records, the changing responsibilities of the health IT industry and the need for health care decisions and policy to be guided by strong data, Health Data Management reports (Kalish, Health Data Management, 2/26).

During her speech, the former Secretary of State, New York senator and first lady touted the EHR meaningful use program.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers that demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments. 

She said, “We are finally seeing the promise of [EHRs], leaving behind the outdated, obsolete, 20th century … ways that records were kept” (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 2/27). Specifically, Clinton said that EHRs can “literally make the difference between life and death,” particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina.

Clinton also said, “Tech specialists no longer focus solely on making patient data accessible to providers.” She added that they also “pla[y] a leading role in making sure medical teams have data and use that data to yield new efficiencies” (Health Data Management, 2/26).

She concluded by underscoring the necessity of good data, stating, “It’s important to be guided by evidence about what works and what doesn’t, not ideology or past practices,” which have influenced the “hyper-politicized debate about the Affordable Care Act.” She said, “[W]e … need people who are looking to approach problems using evidence, but leaving their blaming, their shaming, the point scoring at the door” (Cerrato, InformationWeek, 2/27).

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