WBEZ brings you unbiased news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.Vice President Joe Biden spent some time in Chicago to announce a new health care initiative.
Biden announced the administration will spend $1.2 billion dollars to help doctors and hospitals move toward electronic medical records. The money comes from the federal stimulus package. Biden said going electric will save money and improve outcomes.
Chere Hamilton is an emergency room nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where Biden made the announcement. She says easy access to a patient’s records would make a big difference in the ER.
HAMILTON: When you come to the emergency room, it’s a life-threatening situation. We have to make life-death decisions. We need information. We need it right away. The patient can’t give it to us, the family isn’t there, what do we do?
The new money won’t actually buy new hardware for doctors and hospitals, though other stimulus money could do that. This chunk will pay for support networks and infrastructure to help providers share information. Biden largely avoided politically touchy points, such as a government-run insurance option.