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NACDS supports HIT, stresses importance of balance of privacy


WASHINGTON The House Energy and Commerce Committee, racing a rapidly shrinking legislative calendar, on Wednesday approved legislation designed to promote faster adoption of electronic medical records. The measure seeks to spur a shift to electronic records by hospitals, doctors and other health care providers through loans and grants. It also would set up privacy protections for patient data.

The House Ways and Means Committee has partial jurisdiction over the bill, and will hold a hearing today on the topic. Energy and Commerce members were optimistic about their bill’s chances this year, despite the few remaining legislative days.

In response to the meeting today entitled, “Promoting the Adoption and Use of Health Information Technology,” the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement to the committee stating their support for efforts to promote adoption of health information technology provisions, but also cautioned against misguided privacy provisions that could negatively impact patient care.

“Chain pharmacy has been on the leading edge of the adoption of HIT for many years. We have been actively involved in fostering the use of technology to improve the quality of patient care and developing standards to allow the exponential growth of HIT in pharmacy practice,” NACDS affirms in the statement.

“It is critical that communications between the prescriber, the pharmacist and the patient, not be hampered while assuring adequate safeguards for protected health information,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “We are pleased that the committee has engaged pharmacy in discussions and look forward to continued communications on this important issue.”

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