Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Some Doctors Resist Move to Electronic Medical Records

Link to May 4 Boston Globe article, "Doctors not in stampede to go digital".

Excerpt:   LeBow is part of the professional resistance to electronic records systems that computerization advocates say threatens the goals of the new health care overhaul law. These advocates argue that using computers to track what care patients receive, for instance, is vital to deciding what medications and treatments work best. Digital records also help reduce duplication and waste, they say.

And for patients, the issue has impact far beyond costs: Evidence suggests electronic records can save lives.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs has reduced prescription errors to almost zero since switching to electronic records, far below any hospital in the United States. And an MIT researcher reported last year that a hospital that adopts electronic medical records can reduce infant deaths by 13 for every 100,000 live births.

But big provider groups, including the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, are lobbying the federal government to slow its push for adoption of the expensive and complex systems, even though two surveys by The New England Journal of Medicine last year found that just 1.5 percent of hospitals and 4 percent of doctor practices have comprehensive electronic records

Related article:
Another fight card in the information technology vs. privacy match-up.  (1/18/2009)

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