Chief Health IT Executives Push for National Patient ID System

July 1, 2015
The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Patty Murray
Ranking Member Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510
Re: Health Information Technology Policy Recommendations
Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) welcomes the opportunity to offer solutions to realize the promise of electronic health records (EHRs) to improve patient care. We appreciate the Committee’s continued leadership and interest in strengthening the nation’s health information technology infrastructure.
CHIME has more than 1,600 members, comprised of chief information officers (CIOs) and other top information technology executives at hospitals and clinics across the nation. CHIME members are responsible for the selection and implementation of clinical and business IT systems that are driving healthcare transformation. Our organization is a strong proponent of health IT and its role as a differentiator in improving care quality, affordability and outcomes.
As the professional association representing the nation’s healthcare IT executives, CHIME members have a unique view of the barriers to interoperability and the necessary components needed to achieve fluid exchange of information. Healthcare CIOs have experience implementing technology that must interoperate with dozens of independent systems, ranging from diagnostic imaging and biomedical devices to financial and remote access systems.
Several converging factors present federal regulators and congressional leaders with a unique opportunity to address key challenges in the coming months. The frustrations voiced by providers and policymakers regarding the systems deployed in over 80 percent of hospitals and 60 percent of physician offices are real and, we believe, the solutions to address them are within reach. Five years after passage of HITECH, there exists an opportunity to make policy decisions apart from the arbitrary deadlines of the EHR Incentives Program and pivot towards the long-term goal of building and supporting a national digital health ecosystem.

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