Healthcare IT News
WASHINGTON – Approximately 35 members of AMIA, the association for informatics professionals, traveled to Capitol Hill April 14 to meet with four members of Congress and more than 30 legislative aides to discuss the roles of health information technology and informatics in quality healthcare delivery, and how to accelerate their broad adoption in the healthcare sector.
The group, comprising clinicians, allied health professionals from many states and healthcare settings, and scientists who work in the corresponding commercial sector was greeted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who supports expansion of biomedical and health informatics, an emerging field in healthcare.
“The field of medical informatics has tremendous potential to improve the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare,” said Whitehouse. “Enhancing our capacity to analyze and apply health data will lead to better informed care decisions and drive innovation in the delivery of care.”
Whitehouse authored a provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which established the Regional Extension Center (REC) program. The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), which he founded, is one of many such RECs now working around the country to help clinicians and other allied health professionals make the switch from paper-based medical practices to electronic health records.
“A well educated and well trained workforce is essential to meaningful implementation of electronic health records and the use of HIT,” says Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, president and CEO of AMIA. “Experienced healthcare practitioners know that the need for information underlies all clinical work. A key correlate to information is knowledge; informatics provides the underlying principles that enable a health professional to gather and interpret data and information appropriately, to support the knowledge amassed during their careers.”
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