HHS Report on Disasters Highlights EHRs

Electronic records play important role in response A new report outlining a four-year national strategy for dealing with pandemics and other disasters singles out the important role information technology, especially electronic health records, can play.

The report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "National Health Security Strategy of the United States of America," spells out 10 objectives for dealing with disease outbreaks, natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

EHRs essential

The report calls for fostering "integrated, scalable healthcare delivery systems" that can effectively respond to health incidents. "Essential elements of a prepared and responsive health system include the utilization of information technology to care for people remotely or at home...and the use of portable, standards-based interoperable electronic health records."

In a letter describing the report, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius states: "Securing our nation's health is a formidable task and must be a responsibility that is broadly shared among virtually all segments of society."

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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