Two leaders of healthcare's push for information technology have asked President Bush to re-emphasize his support for electronic health records when he addresses the nation next week. Stephen Lieber, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago-based Health Information and Management Systems Society, sent the letter to Bush asking the president to restate his call that most Americans have an EHR within the next 10 years. The letter, co-authored by the society's board chairman, Blackford Middleton, said Bush's previous support for this technology in two previous State of the Union addresses sparked private-sector interest, innovation, standards and policies.
"We commend you for setting an ambitious goal of ensuring that most Americans have an EHR in 10 years," the letter stated. "The healthcare industry heard your clarion call and, as a result, an unprecedented number of exciting, results-oriented initiatives are under way all designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care."
Lieber and Middleton, whose organization represents about 17,000 individual members and approximately 275 member corporations, implored Bush to insist that Congress pass legislation to accelerate the adoption of EHRs, saying such a law would show that healthcare in America must and will change under the Bush administration.