Senate Health Committee releases draft of bipartisan legislation to improve health IT
The committee is seeking feedback from health professionals and health IT developers. The deadline to submit feedback on the draft is Jan. 29.
“Health information moving seamlessly among doctors and hospitals is vital for the future of medicine and essential to improving patient care,” Alexander said. “The committee has been working for months on legislation to help improve electronic health records, and it involves especially technical work to get this right, which is why our committee looks forward to feedback on today’s draft from doctors, hospitals, health IT developers and other experts in this area of health care.”
The legislation is designed to help doctors and hospitals improve patients' quality of care by improving documentation methods. This includes allowing nurses to document patient information and encouraging certification of health information technology (HIT) for providers. It also establishes a rating system for HIT projects, so providers can make an informed choice when selecting software and equipment.
Patients will be able to access their own records through secure software, while doctors can access patient records through certified electronic health records (EHR).
“I’m pleased that we were able to make bipartisan progress toward strengthening our nation’s health IT infrastructure so that patients, families and providers have better tools to drive medical decision-making and treatment,” Murray said. “This draft legislation is an important step forward, and I look forward to hearing feedback from doctors, patients, health IT developers and experts from Washington state and across the country.”