The AHA promotes the interests of hospitals and other health systems by representing them before Congress and regulatory agencies. It informs government officials of the effects on hospitals of new laws and rulings. When critical issues emerge, the AHA holds national advocacy events, and hospital administrators visit Washington to speak directly to members of Congress.
One particular area of interest to the AHA is the use of information technology (IT) in hospitals. The AHA has encouraged the use of computer systems to track physicians’ orders and bar-coding medications. Now it seeks to spread these advances to rural and small hospitals as well as large urban ones. The organization also seeks to further integrate IT into other routine hospital functions.