Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Arizona Governor Mandates EMR

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) last week signed an executive order mandating widespread adoption of electronic health records in the state by 2010, which is four years earlier than the Bush administration's goal for implementing EHRs nationwide, the Arizona Republic reports. The order creates the 39-member Arizonia Health-e Connection steering committee, which will include heads of hospitals and medical associations, insurers and representatives of Intel and other major employees. The committee - which will be overseen by Chris Cummiskey, director of the state's Government Information Technology Agency, and Beth Schermer, a Phoenix-based health care lawyer - has six months to set a roadmap of directions and milestones for electronically sharing health data. The committee also will recommend privacy and security safeguards and identify possible funding options. It will not recommend specific vendors, the Republic reports. Just two other states and about six regions have plans in place for widespread record sharing, the Republic reports. Some say that Arizona's small population, growing health care sector and large number of managed care organizations give it an advantage in converting to an EHR system (Larson, Arizona Republic, 9/1).

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