Obama's Health Plan calls for Electronic Medical Records
Considering that every filing cabinet costs $25,000 to create and maintain moving the American health care industry to an electronic document management environment can create significant cost reductions - not to mention valuable data for health care providers to use in administering care options.
"The Obama administration’s focus on digital patient records to minimize medical errors and improve efficiency has promise, but will face significant obstacles."
Does Health Care Have an Electronic Future?
by William J. Holstein
The Obama administration’s focus on digital patient records to minimize medical errors and improve efficiency has promise, but will face significant obstacles.
The Obama administration’s decision to spend an unprecedented US$19 billion over the next seven years to encourage the use of electronic medical records is triggering a scramble among government officials and health-care industry chiefs to define how such a system will work.
For more information on electronic document management click here: http://kellyrshort.com/2009/05/paper_files_are_stealing_money.html
Hundreds of vendors, from small consulting firms to large systems integrators, from makers of software to all manner of hardware, are jockeying to take advantage of the new funding. Doctors, hospitals, and the dozens of entrenched subprofessions and interest groups are locking horns over which standards will prevail. It’s generally felt by health-care experts that President Obama’s goal of nearly universal use of electronic records is possible, but it could take several years — with some stutter steps in between — before it becomes clear what form electronic files will take and which companies will profit.
The U.S. health system is fragmented among hospitals, doctors, nurses, testing laboratories, and drug wholesalers and retailers. By and large, this eclectic roster depends on paper to collect, communicate, and share its most valuable information — patient files and prescriptions. A mere 17 percent of doctors have even basic electronic systems for patient records, and only 10 percent of hospitals do, according to David Blumenthal, the Harvard Medical School professor who has been named Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) national coordinator for health information technology.
Obama supports electronic records primarily because... click here to read more.