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HHS Secretary Calls For Increased Use Of Electronic Health Care Records, Offers Training For Healthcare Workers

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced new federal incentives to encourage healthcare facilities to switch to use of electronic healthcare records (EHRs), including government programs to better familiarize healthcare workers with electronic documents.

“When doctors and hospitals use health IT, patients get better care and we save money,” Sebelius said in a statement. “Too many doctors and hospitals are still using the same record-keeping technology as Hippocrates. Today, we are making it easier for health care providers to use new technology to improve the health care system for all of us and create more jobs.”

To support increased EHR use and to meet the demand for workers with electronic technology experience and training, the Obama Administration has launched workforce development programs to train new healthcare workers in use of electronic records through 82 community colleges and nine universities nationwide.

One critical concern about adopting EHRs still being addressed by many healthcare organizations is protecting sensitive patient data from falling into the wrong hands. A recent report recommended healthcare employees must receive more training in safeguarding both electronic and paper data from unauthorized access, and healthcare Notaries have been cautioned tocarefully secure any patient identifying information they handle.

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