June 16: Senators Bill Frist and Hillary Clinton Introduce New Legislation at GW Hospital

Senator Clinton, Senator Frist and Dr. Richard Becker, CEO of The George Washington University Hospital
They announce their introduction of the Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005
Washington, DC - Against the "backdrop" of GW Hospital physicians, nurses and administrators, Senators Frist and Clinton announced their introduction of legislation for comprehensive health information technology and quality.

Richard Becker, MD, and CEO of GW Hospital, gave the opening remarks and introduced the senators. He spoke about the technologically advanced systems GW Hospital has in place including electronic health records, filmless imaging and mobile laptops.

"It is increasingly important that various healthcare information systems and entities 'talk' to one another, and we have made great strides at GW Hospital in advancing this objective," said Dr. Becker. "This remains, however, a pivotal time for us and the healthcare industry. We applaud the Senators' initiatives to increase interconnectivity advances that will help healthcare information systems communicate with each other efficiently and appropriately."

The Health Technology to Enhance Quality Act of 2005 implements health information technology standards that would guide the design and operation of interoperable health information systems. The legislation establishes standards for the electronic exchange of health information. It also authorizes $125 million in grants to local and regional consortiums to implement health information technology infrastructure that is compliant with national standards and establishes measures to assess the quality of care.

"This innovative legislation will help launch American's transition away from outmoded pen-and-pad medicine by encouraging the creation of an interoperable, secure and technology-based system of medical care," said Frist. "Grounding our healthcare in information technology can cut out waste and redundancies that drive up costs, hamper efficiency and cause medical errors. I'm proud of this bold, bipartisan and forward-thinking legislation."

"This legislation marries technology and quality to create a seamless, efficient healthcare system for the 21st century," said Clinton. "By creating national interoperability standards, we will give healthcare providers the confidence that an investment in health IT is an investment in the future."

Senators Frist and Clinton are co-sponsoring this legislation along with Senators Mel Martinez, Barbara Mikulski, Jim Talent and Barack Obama.

GW Hospital representatives are available to give demos of the electronic health records system. Please call Maureen Ryan at 202.715.4447 if interested.