Former Pres. Clinton puts support behind EHRs

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton appeared along with former President George H.W. Bush, in a joint keynote address to the CTIA Wireless trade show in Orlando. Both men praised the wireless industry for generating economic growth and bringing the world closer together. Clinton gave serious commentary on information technology, which he said has the power to improve the lives of disadvantaged people around the world and in the U.S, IDG News/PC World reported.

Electronic medical records could cut US$100 billion of administrative costs of the U.S. health-care system, on which Americans spend $800 billion per year, Clinton said, referring to a McKinsey & Co. study. An EMR bill backed in the U.S. Senate by his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, and former Republican Senate leader Bill Frist failed despite three years of bipartisan effort, Clinton said.

Wireless technology is aiding in efforts to raise people worldwide out of poverty, one of the causes Clinton has been supporting since leaving office in 2001, he said. For example, in a micro-loan program in Bangladesh, the fastest-growing category of loans are those to women who buy cell phones and sell minutes to people in their villages who call relatives overseas and keep in touch with local markets, Clinton said. The program has raised 58 percent of all borrowers above the international poverty line, he said. And in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the fastest-growing job is selling calling cards on the street, making young people into entrepreneurs and part of the economy, he said.

Blogs can also play an important role in the media as the traditional media tries to cover an increasingly complex world with growing competitive pressures and fewer resources, Clinton said.