Responding to complaints from physicians and other healthcare workers, Senate health committee leaders recently formed a bipartisan working group to improve electronic health records. Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash) will lead the group, which will involve participation from health professionals, health information technology developers, relevant government agencies, and other experts specializing in health information technology.

“After $28 billion in taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing electronic health records, ?doctors don’t like these electronic medical record systems and say they disrupt workflow, interrupt the doctor-patient relationship, and haven’t been worth the effort,” Alexander said. “The goal of this working group is to identify the five or six things we can do to help make the failed promise of electronic health records something that physicians and providers look forward to, instead of something they endure.”

Among the working group’s stated goals are commitments to improve patient safety and the quality of care by partnering with doctors and hospitals and leveraging health IT capabilities; promote interoperability; provide patients with access to their own protected health information (PHI); and protect patient privacy and security of health information.

For more information, view the announcement on the Senate Health Committee’s website.