e-hospitals for better care.
In July 2004 DHHS secretary Tommy Thompson announced a 10-year plan to improve the delivery of health care across the nation using electronic health records. The plan--initiated by President Bush in April--calls for continuously updated and accessible electronic health records, which can give physicians life-saving information in real time. A recent Institute of Medicine report found that implementation of electronic medical record systems could reduce the tens of thousands of deaths and injuries caused by medical mistakes each year. Bush has called for electronic medical records for most Americans within 10 years. A panel appointed by Thompson should provide a full cost-benefit analysis of health information technology this fall.