Perry Creates Health Care Technology Partnership

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SAN ANTONIO -- Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order Monday to create a partnership to try to ensure the health-care industry uses technology better.

The Texas Health Care System Integrity Authority will be tasked

--Creating a secure electronic medical records system,
--finding ways to lower insurance prices for small employers, and,
--helping Texans comparison shop for doctors and hospitals.

Perry says the partnership will consist of consumers, employers, health-care providers, insurers and government agencies. He says creating an electronic medical records system would help doctors quickly know patients' allergies and existing health conditions so they can best treat them in an emergency.

Perry also announced a new Web site to allow Texans to compare health plan benefits, research doctors and hospitals and study the average length of stay and death rates for certain procedures.

Perry is in a heated four-way race for re-election, opposed by Democrat Chris Bell and independents Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman.