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Local News

Underwood questions Homeland Security official on health care needs at border

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville
U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood questioned top Department of Homeland Security officials last week about implementing an electronic health record system at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Underwood, D-Naperville, has stressed the need for better health care procedures at the border in consideration of the migrant crisis there. While on an oversight trip last year, she said she heard firsthand about the need for more resources to improve medical recordkeeping.

"As a nurse, I know how important clear recordkeeping is to both patient outcomes and ensuring health care providers can most effectively do their jobs," Underwood said during a Jan. 14 hearing.

The congresswoman questioned DHS senior medical officer Dr. Alexander Eastman during the hearing, according to a news release. He spoke about the need for an electronic health record system at the border to treat migrants to ensure any medical issues were detected and treated as they come into the country.

"They not only allow us to effectively document the care that's provided, but they also allow us easy access to the data to do things like quality assurance," Eastman told Underwood during the hearing.

Eastman also thanked Underwood for her work securing $30 million in funding for interoperable electronic health records for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Last year, President Donald Trump signed into law the legislation providing the funding as a part of a fiscal 2020 appropriations package.

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