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November 21, 2007

HHS head, Mike Leavitt blogs his support for ePrescribing

E-prescribing is not only more efficient and convenient for consumers, but widespread use would eliminate thousands of medication errors every year.

This is a quote from Mike Leavitt's blog post about his reaction to a recent meeting of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), which is an advisory committee that considers health information technology standards.

Leavitt uses an anecdote to show his action as Governor of Utah in motivating police officers to use a system of laptop entry of police reports, replacing the system of filling out a "stack of forms that was a quarter-inch thick" for each DUI arrest.  Some said they didn't have the keyboard skills to do this. His reaction was to make it mandatory.

This analogy doesn't quite fit entirely, since the most the police officers needed to invest was their time in learning how to manage touch typing. Leavitt doesn't think the added expense of an e-prescribing system is great enough for the government, as the largest payor for healthcare, not to consider a mandate.

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