July 28, 2010

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Key Senate Panel Approves $500,000 For North Shore LIJ Health System Health Information Technology Initiative

Federal Funds Would Help Cut Costs, Improve Care, and Create Jobs

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies has approved $500,000 for the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System’s Health Information Technology Initiative in the FY2011 Appropriations Bill. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand aggressively lobbied members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year’s spending bill.

“Long Island is growing and its hospitals need to grow with it. These funds will enable the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System to bring their medical records system into the 21st century,” Senator Schumer said. “It is of the utmost importance that hospitals have the ability to access information quickly and lower costs to best serve patients. I will fight to see this funding through the full appropriations process.”

“It is critical that we invest in the life-saving technologies at our world class medical facilities on Long Island,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Investing in health IT will help North Shore LIJ deliver higher quality, more coordinated care – saving lives and cutting health care costs in the long run.”

Implementing electronic medical records (EMRs) in the Greater New York Metropolitan area would help to significantly lower costs and would increase the quality of care for patients. This system would provide better protection to the privacy of patients, maintaining vital information in a secure location. This initiative would also help to create new jobs in the Information Technology field, in training and in equipment installation.

This legislation would provide $500,000 to the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System for the deployment of outpatient electronic medical records and for support with office-based automation, which would help to reduce variability and overuse in care, while integrating the continuum of care and improving the safety of our patients and the health of our population.

The legislation will head to full committee, and then to the floor for a full vote before the Senate. The bill will then proceed to the House-Senate Conference Committee, before final passage in both chambers and then to the President to become law.