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Secretary Thompson Calls for National Healthcare IT System
July 1, 2004
1 Min Read
Originally Published MX July/August 2004
"We need to get it done, and we need to get it done now."
That was the sense of urgency expressed by Tommy Thompson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in his call for a national health information infrastructure that would improve the safety, responsiveness, and efficiency of the U.S. healthcare system while reducing costs.
Thompson made his remarks at the HHS-sponsored Health Information Technology Summit held in early May in Washington, DC. The summit was a follow-up to President Bush's April announcement of a national health information technology plan, which includes as its centerpiece the adoption of electronic medical records within 10 years.
Acknowledging the "remarkable advances" of 21st-century healthcare, Thompson lamented the fact that the system is "held together with 19th-century paperwork." He called the current situation "inexcusable," and added, "for healthcare IT, the 21st century starts today."
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