In an October 16, 2009 letter to ten major healthcare IT vendors, Senator Charles E. Grassley (ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Finance) initiated a US Senate investigation of the corporate practices of HIT vendors. The inquiry launched after the senator’s office received a significant number of complaints from patients, physicians, technologists, etc. regarding the safety of HIT/CPOE systems. A new study comparing 3,000 hospitals at various stages in the adoption of computerized health records has found little difference in the cost and quality of care between those organizations with electronic medical records and without automation. Last year, the Joint Commission announced a sentinel event alert holding health systems responsible for errors caused by the introduction of HIT.