When it comes to health IT initiatives, it’s very easy for politicians to say the right things.
“We need more federally-funded incentive programs for EMR adoption.”
“Medication administration and ePrescribing save lives and should be implemented on a larger scale.”
“Physicians need to be represented in legislative decisions.”
Saying the right thing is easy; making these things happen, on the other hand, is not. As the 2008 Presidential Election edges toward the final stretch, it will be interesting to see how the two candidates, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama, approach the subject of health IT — or perhaps more accurately, if they approach it with anything other than a bland, non-controversial statement like, “I am in favor of EHRs” (followed, of course, by a rousing applause from the delegates).
That’s great TV and all, but has either senator voted on any health IT legislation? Has either discussed specific plans regarding funding for CPOE or EMR systems? What have they actually done, or what do they plan to do to push this issue forward? That’s what I want to know.
More importantly, I want to know where CIOs stand on all of this. What are your biggest concerns as we go forward with a new administration? And better yet, are you active in political matters? HCI will be looking closely at this subject in our October issue, and I’m looking for CIOs who have testified in state legislature, lobbied for privacy/security bills, or have publicly supported — or condemned — the Wired for Healthcare Act.
If you’re a CIO who refuses to be complacent with health IT issues and wish to make your beliefs known to your colleagues before they cast a vote, please contact me and we’ll talk politics.