Today, August 20, 2009, Vice President Joe Biden plans to announce approximately $1.2 billion in grants to assist hospitals to move to electronic medical records.The most important question Biden and HHS discuss is how this will benefit the American people.  Biden and HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius recently collaborated in Chicago to discuss this matter.

Biden stated to the Associated Press, “With electronic health records, we are making health care safer, we’re making it more efficient, we’re making you healthier and we’re saving money along the way.  These are four necessities we need for health care in the 21st century.”

Grants have been established to enable medical entities to reduce medical errors, save time and make better decisions.  One grant, a total of $589 million will establish centers to assist hospitals and clinics with the technical aspects of choosing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems.  Another $564 million is to be set aside to assist hospitals share patients’ information with each other. 

Both of these grants will be available when the new federal fiscal year begins, on October 1, 2009.