President Bush to emphasize EMRs in 2006

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The Bush Administration has announced that one of its major points of interest in 2006 will be the computerization of medical records. According to a report in the New York Sun, President Bush is preparing to allot anywhere from $100 million to $200 million in funding towards a program in the federal budget which will be put forth in February.
"We're really ready to step up in 2006 for a pretty aggressive agenda," said David Brailer, MD, PhD, national coordinator for health information technology, HHS, told New York Sun last week. "The president loves this topic," added Brailer.

It is expected, Brailer told the Sun, that the Bush administration will soon begin launching what he called "breakthrough" initiatives in health IT to be completed within the year. Some of initiatives highlighted will include: a nationwide computerized personal medication histories; "secure messaging" to allow for private e-mail and other e-correspondence as a form of direction communication between doctors and patients; as well as a type of "bio surveillance," which uses computerized records to monitor disease outbreaks and provide earlier detection and better treatment of pandemics or bioterrorism attacks.