Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Doctor’s Problem With Electronic Records - Health Blog - WSJ

By James A. White

Paper medical records can easily go missing, contain bad or missing information and undermine patient care. But consider the alternative, says Alexander Friedman, a fellow in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Friedman says EMRs are designed to communicate with insurers, not for care providers to communicate with each other. At the same time, he notes the success of the Veterans Administration’s electronic system in producing dramatic care improvements, as cited in a 2003 NEJM study.

But he sees the VA’s broad effort to apply electronics for improving accountability, integrating services and improving patient safety as an exception to how most systems are designed.
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