It's become pretty clear that President-Elect Obama thinks the best kind of economic stimulus is one that also creates lasting jobs, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has figured that out. The society is calling for at least $25 billion to help speed adoption of EMRs by non-governmental hospitals, saying that it will not only make health care reform possible, but also create new jobs across the health care sector.
And they've got a congressman in their corner: Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). Kennedy agrees that a large part of reforming the healthcare system in the U.S. is making large-scale adoption of health IT a priority.
The HIMSS report didn't just call for billions of dollars for an economic stimulus package; it also suggested four more priority recommendations. These included promoting standardization by requiring federal funds to be used to buy only health IT products that are certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, and exempting healthcare organizations from accusations of kickbacks so that they could help finance physicians' adoption of health IT.
Also recommended was creating a senior level health IT leader in the administration, and convening a White House summit on reforming health care using IT within 90 days of Obama's inauguration.
To learn more about the recommendations:
- read this Government Health IT piece