On October 18, 1991, the IEEE-USA produced an entity statement which endorsed the vital importance of the High Performance Computer & Communications Act of 1991 (HPCC) and called for the rapid implementation of all its elements.
Efforts are now underway to develop a Computer Based Patient Record (CBPR), the National Information Infrastructure (Nil) as part of the HPCC, and the so-called "Patient Card". Multiple legislative initiatives which address these and related information technology issues are pending in Congress. Clearly, a national information system will greatly affect the way health care delivery is provided to the United States public.
Timely and reliable information represents a critical element in any initiative to reform the health care system as well as to protect and improve the health of every person. Appropriately used, information technologies offer a vital means of improving the quality of patient care, increasing access to universal care and lowering overall costs within a national health care program. Health care reform legislation
should reflect increased budgetary support and a legal mandate for the creation of a national health
care information system by:
Constructing a National Information Infrastructure;
Building a Computer Based Patient Record System;
Bringing the collective resources of our National Laboratories to bear in developing and
implementing the NIl and CBPR, as well as a security system with which to safeguard the
privacy rights of patients and the physician-patient privilege;
Utilizing Government (e.g. DOD, DOE) capabilities (technology and human resources) to
maximize resource utilization, create new jobs and accelerate technology transfer to address
health care issues.