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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 3, 1993




Over the course of the next months, the people of the United States and their elected Members of Congress will have the opportunity to participate in one of the most important processes of our times: the implementation of health care reform. As the proposals have been developed, the authors have relied on extensive information that has been collected regarding the well-being of the people of our Nation and the efficiency of our health care delivery system. Those working on plans for health care reform were extremely fortunate that they could draw upon the vast fund of knowledge contained in some of the most comprehensive health management systems in the world.

Our Nation's status as a world leader in this field is largely due to the role of professional health information managers as they continually investigate and apply new technologies to advance their administrative expertise.

America's 35,000 health information management leaders have a tradition of commitment to excellence and competence, which have become increasingly important components of the health care delivery system of our country.

At the heart of the profession's information management responsibilities are medical history records, both computerbased and paper-generated. On a daily basis, health information managers must take into consideration patients' privacy rights and, at the same time, protect the integrity, accuracy, consistency, reliability, and validity of health information. The professional health information manager orchestrates the collection of many kinds of documentation from a variety of sources, monitors the integrity of the information, and ensures appropriate access to medical records. This professional also collects health care data by abstracting and encoding information, by using computer programs to interpret data, and by putting in place quality control procedures to guarantee the validity of the information.

Throughout the ongoing health care reform discussions, there has been a strong consensus about the need to lessen the bureaucracy of our Nation's current health care delivery system and to streamline and simplify administrative operations. During this very important time in our Nation's history, health information management professionals are key players in our efforts to reshape the existing system. These dedicated experts are working hard to computerize patient record systems in order to reduce health care costs by decreasing the logjam of unnecessary paperwork confronting hospitals and other health facilities.

We want to recognize the devotion of those who are working to decrease the cost and improve the quality of our health care system. Their past efforts have contributed immeasurably to the health care delivery system and to the medical research community. As health care reform is implemented, the challenges will be quite substantial, but so will the opportunities for demonstrating the creativity and commitment to quality that characterize these important professionals. I urge all Americans to join me in saluting this determined group of men and women, who work as professional health information managers.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 205, has designated the week of October 31 through November 6, 1993, as "National Health Information Management Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of October 31 through November 6, 1993, as National Health Information Management Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week by demonstrating their respect and gratitude for all those professionals who have dedicated their careers to consistently improving our systems of health information management.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.


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