As National Health IT Week 2016 gets under way, President Barack Obama issued this statement on Sept. 26:
“I send greetings to all those marking National Health IT Week.
“When clinicians, researchers, individuals, and families have access to the tools, information, and resources they need, everyone can lead safer and healthier lives. During National Health IT Week, we recommit ourselves to improving the health of our citizenry using the breakthrough technologies of our time and reaching for the next frontier of innovation.
“Over the past 8 years, my Administration and Congress have invested billions of dollars to encourage the adoption of electronic health records, with partners in the public and private sectors playing a major role. Electronic health records allow physicians, pharmacists, patients, and emergency personnel to access information quickly and securely – enhancing collaboration, improving decision-making, reducing the risk of errors, and putting individuals at the center of their care. Because of our collective efforts, 97 percent of our Nation’s hospitals and three-quarters of doctors are using electronic records to care for their patients.
⇒ What to expect: National Health IT Week 2016 kicks off on Monday
⇒ National Health IT Week 2016: A CIO reflects on 5 key technology advancements
“Last year, I launched the Precision Medicine Initiative, a bold research effort to accelerate innovation and prepare us for a new era of medicine – all enabled by digital data. Precision medicine will help match the latest treatments to individual needs, reducing health disparities and bringing America closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes and overcoming epidemics such as opioid misuse. We have also worked to clarify an individual’s legal right to access their health information and transmit it where they choose – whether it’s to a family member or to their smartphone. These efforts help advance our Administration’s goal of fostering the seamless and secure flow of electronic health information when and where it is needed most.
“Though there is more to be done to realize a healthcare system that fits each of our needs, I am confident that if we continue working together, we can build a future of greater health and prosperity for coming generations.”