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Federal Initiative For Digitalizing Health Record

Federal Initiative For Digitalizing Health Record

Amidst the debates in regards to health reform, there is another important but less controversial health initiative which is being implemented. This is federal initiative for digitalizing health records. As it is being implemented throughout the country, it has been a source of quite a large amount of business for high-tech firms located in San Diego as well as other parts of the state.

As a federal initiative for digitalizing health records, the amount of money projected to be spent in this regard is whopping USD 45 billion. This projected expenditure on the healthcare technology system will largely come as a part of stimulus known as the Health Information Technology for Economy and Clinical Act or HITECH.

There is a long term ambitious goal of this federal initiative for digitalizing health records. Its objective is to facilitate a program through which information of a patient can be exchanged freely among the healthcare providers. This system will be able to computerize the data collected in the intensive care units, operating room, emergency care units etc. nationwide and link them together in a network expanded throughout the state or nation.

As federal initiative for digitalizing health record is being implemented, it will enable healthcare institution run more efficiently. At the same time, it will enable the private practitioners' offices, clinic, hospital run more cheaply. A report in this regard was made in 2005 by Rand Corp. According to their estimation, by incorporating an appropriately designed network, the health care system could save a whopping USD 77 billions each year as it provides the doctors the tools to make decision more efficiently. It will only come true when the healthcare providers will be able to remove the bugs of various networking software system.

With this federal initiative for digitalizing health records, it is creating a miniboom in medical information technology. Since the government is infusing is a large amount of money's into it in the form of stimulus, software vendors are preparing themselves to be a part of this miniboom. They are showing more and more interest in the ambitious HITECH program, with a proposed expenditure of USD 19 billion. To implement interoperable computer network, this HITECH program, to be started in 2011, will pay individual caregivers anywhere between USD 45,000 to USD 60,000. At the same time hospitals will get billions of dollars to implement this system.

Of course, there is also some criticism of this stimulus program offered by the government. With this federal initiative for digitalizing health records, questions have already been raised as to the appropriateness of requiring so much money coming from the taxpayers' pocket. In a paper published by the Conservative Heritage Foundation, Tevi Troy, who used to be the deputy secretary health and human services in Bush regime, asked as to why should the taxpayers money be utilized to purchase something while the doctors and hospitals having the capability to purchase it. This allegation is being refuted as it is being cited without the stimulus it is impossible to implement this new system for the healthcare institutions, as they are unable to afford the necessary costs associated with it.

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