Washington, D.C. 5/30/07- Asserting that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has failed to advance President Bush’s goal of widespread electronic medical record adoption, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., has introduced a bill that would require a federal technology agency to accelerate the integration of healthcare information technology.

If enacted, the measure would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to increase its efforts to support the integration of healthcare IT in the United States. The legislation, known as H.R. 2406, says NIST is “well equipped to address the technical challenges posed by healthcare information enterprise integration.”

Under the bill, the director of NIST – now William Jeffrey – would establish an initiative for advancing healthcare IT enterprise integration within the U.S.

The bill also states that it’s in the national interest for the institute to develop standards, standard conformance tests, and enterprise integration processes necessary to increase efficiency and the quality of care, and lower costs in the healthcare industry.

It also calls on NIST to ensure that all components of the U.S. healthcare infrastructure are part of a “reliable, interoperable, and secure” electronic information network. WTN News

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