Saturday, August 20, 2005

Rural Hospital Information Technology

From Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, as published in the Iowa Hospital Association Friday Mailing "Newstand" supplement, excerpted below.

Information technology holds the promise of reducing health care disparities for those living in rural communities. We can measure our success in building an IT infrastructure by the provision of quality care in these communities challenged by long distances and scarce medical resources.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, and numerous experts recommend information technology as a powerful tool for iincreasing quality and improving efficiency in health care. One of the best ways we can leverage IT is in the creation of a national health information infrastructure that supports improved decision-making and public health initiatives. I believe, however, that to develop a comprehensive IT infrastructure we must focus on rural America, which truly needs assistance in the adoption and use of health IT. Until information technology is integrated within health care delivery systems in Iowa, Montana, Alaska and other rural and frontier areas, the transition to an interoperable health IT system that links all providers nationwide is not possible.


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