Pelosi Discusses Oregon Health Records Network

Oregon has recieved over $20 million in order to establish a statewide computer network for medical records, the Associated Press reports:

The Federal Communications Commission has allocated more than $20 million in Oregon for a statewide network electronically linking more than 300 health care facilities.

When complete, the Oregon Health Network will connect hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, public health agencies and other medical offices and institutions.

Oregon's award is one of the largest under the federal Rural Health Care Pilot Program, which aims to improve the quality and collaboration in health care through construction of such networks nationwide.

The Telehealth Alliance of Oregon led the effort, but the program was a collaboration among more than 150 individuals and organizations.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi was in Portland yesterday for a health care round table meeting at OHSU, and declared her support for similarly updating records systems around the country.

From the Oregonian:

Pelosi, D-Calif., stressed the importance of records as a way to save billions of dollars in health care costs, reduce medical mistakes and ensure better care in rural communities.

"Electronic records are essential to improving health care," Pelosi said. "This is the future. I see Oregon taking the lead in that future."

Pelosi's visit to Oregon was part of her "innovation agenda," an effort to boost technological progress, such as more broadband access and alternative energy systems, and to increase the number of scientists, mathematicians and engineers coming out of U.S. schools.

Pelosi said the push for centralized medical records would not take away from efforts to give health coverage to millions of people who lack it. Medical experts say the ability to transfer records with ease is as important as other medical breakthroughs, such as new medicines or therapies, Pelosi said.

"We're not talking about this as some kind of elitist thing for people who already have health care," Pelosi said. "We're talking about it as essential."

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • Roger Osburne (unverified)

    More broadband access is essential to these types of initiatives. High-speed broadband augments current medical services by using technology to make health care more accessible, cost effective and flexible. More information is available at

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    "Electronic records are essential to improving health care," Pelosi said. "This is the future. I see Oregon taking the lead in that future."

    Until I read this statement I believed the same thing, but now that Pelosi has expressed this opinion about electronic records I should probably rethink this theory. Despite her short tenure as speaker she has convinced me she is as phony as some, perhaps most, of her predecessors, including Tip O'Neill and Newt Gingrich. It is quite clear that, like most of her colleagues in the House, her oath to defend the Constitution is meaningless.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
    <h2>A good idea or policy initiative need not have its provenance in your approved politician. It is, in fact, quite reasonable that some Republican might have a really good thing they want, so you'd ashcan it because there's an (R) involved? If that is the case, you give a rat's patoot about the good of the American people.</h2>
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