HHS Report on Disasters Highlights EHRsElectronic 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.
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."