Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Electronic Records are costly

The CBS Evening News (5/19, story 12, 3:05, Couric) reported, "Experts say one way to reduce mistakes is to make all medical records available by computer, but that has a high cost, too, and not all doctors are ready to pay it." CBS' Wyatt Andrews notes that "President Obama put $20 billion in the stimulus for computerized records saying they'd save money and lives and get done in five years." Andrews adds that "there is plenty of evidence electronic records save lives," but "savings from electronic records are much harder to prove." He notes that "high costs are the biggest obstacle facing the electronic future."
Study suggests patients expect EMRs to figure heavily in their care. Healthcare IT News (5/19, Merrill) reported that a study conducted by researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reveals that "patients are open to having electronic medical records (EMRs) play a more central role in their care." In fact, they "want full access to all of their medical records, are willing to make some privacy concessions in the interest of making them transparent, and fully expect that computers will play a major role in their medical care, even substituting for face-to-face care." Lead investigator Jan Walker "said patients not only want computers to bring them customized medical information, but fully expect to be able to rely on electronic technology in the future for many routine medical issues." These findings are the results of "focus groups in Boston, Portland, Maine; Tampa, and Denver," locations that were "selected to represent various geographic areas...and incorporate ethnic and cultural diversity." (courtesy AOA)

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