The Democratic senator previously co-sponsored legislation with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in January 2006 that would establish national health IT interoperable standards, guiding the design and deployment of health systems across the US. The legislation also called for the authorization of an office of information technology within the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Newsday, Michael Dowling, chief executive of North Shore-LIJ Health System which is designing a paperless system to be launched in September 2007, said that IT has major potential to change the way health care is delivered. It can drive the quality and safety agenda. But, he said, the federal government has to be involved to establish the vocabulary and set the rules to ensure that the systems can talk to each other.