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Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton (D, NY) believes making all medical records paperless is one solution to fix the system by reducing inefficiency, redundancy, and medical errors. During a recent health care symposium, the senator noted that, while 16% of the country's gross national product is spent on health care, 46 million Americans are without health insurance.
One fix she suggested is to take advantage of information technology and computerize medical records that protect privacy and simultaneously can be accessed by other physicians or health care providers. Electronic health records would guarantee that physicians and other health care providers share critical data about patients and thwart medical mistakes, she said.
Senator Clinton is cosponsor with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R, Tenn) of legislation passed in January that would allow an office of information technology within the Department of Health and Human Services and make sure that information technology systems can seamlessly "talk" to each other. Supporters of paperless records said the federal government needs to be involved to set the standards that guarantee the systems can communicate with one another.