UPDATE: The Republican Party 2012 platform includes this language about health IT:
We support technology enhancements for medical health records and data systems while affirming patient privacy and ownership of health information. (p.33)
An American political tradition gets underway this week when the first of two major political party quadrennial conventions is held in Tampa, Florida. The Republicans will formally choose their presidential and vice presidential nominees in Tampa, and—though it receives far less attention—GOP delegates will vote on the 2012 Republican Platform, which outlines the Party’s “principles and vision for the country,” according to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
HIMSS is hopeful, that like the 2008 Republican Platform—which noted that “the simple step of modernizing recordkeeping will mean faster, more accurate treatment, fewer medical errors, and lower costs”—the 2012 Republican Platform will also support widespread adoption of health IT.
In this era of political gridlock, we’re fortunate that health IT is one of the very few issues that both sides of the political aisle can still agree on. Continuation of that bipartisan support for health IT is again this year one of HIMSS three top priority recommendations to Congress.
Last month, HIMSS sent letters to Chair Priebus and to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, requesting that both major political party platforms include this language:
In order to improve the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare, and to ensure care is accessible for all Americans, the Party will continue its strong support for the rapid, nationwide adoption of Health Information Technology including electronic health records and the secure, electronic exchange of health information.
The Democrats’ 2008 Platform expressed a goal of “driving adoption of state-of-the-art health information technology systems [and] privacy-protected electronic medical records.” The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee will unveil its priorities for the country at its convention in Charlotte, North Carolina next week, and we’re optimistic that this platform will again include recognition of the value of health IT towards transforming healthcare.
What is it about health IT that makes it something both sides can agree on? Please share your thoughts in the comments.