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'The Business of Health Care Report'

New Rules Relaxing EHR Helps Unify Health Care
10/23/2006

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently announced new regulations that could speed up physician adoption of health information technology. The new rules give hospital systems, such as Texas Health Resources, more leeway to share the information technology that serves as the backbone of electronic health records, commonly referred to as EHR.

The electronic health record promises to eliminate redundancy, reduce errors of paper record-keeping and has the potential to facilitate faster, safer service.

Our development of the EHR has been driven by physician input. Sixty-three percent of our active medical staff already access information through our physician Internet portal.

One physician on our medical staff was on his way to Houston when a request for an emergency consult led him to pull over to the side of the road, plug his laptop into his cell phone, download X-rays and provide a diagnosis and course for treatment.

Over the last 10 years, THR invested heavily in the development of the EHR. We are in the process of implementing it throughout our hospitals.

THR is proud to be part of the development of national standards for the EHR. We’re looking forward to helping physicians invest in technology and resources needed to improve quality care.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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