Weinberg Statement On Senate Legislative Oversight Committee Hearing On Health Care Information Technology Initiatives

TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and Chairwoman of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Committee’s hearing on health care information technology initiatives, and efforts to digitize patients’ medical records to improve the quality of health care in the Garden State:

“Today’s hearing gave us an opportunity to listen to a variety of experts about the latest developments regarding the implementation of health information technology initiatives in New Jersey, to not only reduce the incidence of medical errors in the health care setting, but also to control the cost of health care in the Garden State.

“In a day and age when so many important transactions and interactions take place at the click of a mouse, there is absolutely no reason why health care providers shouldn’t be able to access a patient’s medical records over the World Wide Web. You can apply for college online, you can file your taxes online, and you can even find true love online. Why we shouldn’t also use the Internet as a tool to improve the quality and control the cost of health care is beyond me.

“When you consider that the federal government has created $47 billion in incentives through the federal stimulus legislation for states to pursue healthcare information technology and begin to create secure and thorough medical information databases, this becomes an even easier decision to make.

“By allowing medical care providers to have access to a patient’s full medical history at the tips of their fingers, we can begin to move towards a personalized health care model for patients in the Garden State, and we can hopefully make one-size-fits-all health care a thing of the past. Digital medical records are the future of health care in New Jersey, and will revolutionize not only the delivery of medical care, but will also begin to lower the high cost of health care in New Jersey.”