Electronic Medical Records

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Deacon, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Little benefit from electronic health records from 2005 to 2007, study says

    BY ROSANNE SPECTOR

    Electronic health records did little to improve the quality of health care from 2005 through 2007, even when bolstered by software that gives doctors treatment tips for individual patients.

    “There’s a lot of enthusiasm and money being invested in electronic health records,” said the senior author of the study, Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

    The federal government’s economic stimulus package of 2009 invested $19 billion in health information technology, including incentives for adoption of electronic health record systems. “It makes sense, but on the other hand it’s an unproven proposition.

    When the federal government decides to invest in health-care technology because it will improve the quality of care, that’s not based on evidence. That’s a presumption.”
     
  2. menageriekeeper

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    This is the same sort of rhetoric that was used for not investing in computer technology in just about every other area they are now widely used in.

    Yes, electronic health records are virgin territory. Yes, we have no "health apples" to compare with. But when you draw info from all the other areas that have greatly benefitted from computer technology you can extrapolate the benefit that will come from electronic health records.

    Yes, it will take time and money to implement. After all, 3/4th of my own health records are not in the hands of my doc. 1/3 of the "missing" health records are in my closet. (the result of my old doc retiring and my taking a couple of years to decide on a new one) About 1/6 of "the missing" are in the hands of current specialists.

    The rest are truely missing. Those are the records from my childhood when my parents used whatever doc was handy that my mother wasn't holding a grudge against (there was always a reason).

    That gives you an idea of how much time and money it will take to get everything in one place and compatible with who and what it needs to be compatible with.

    Now, luckily I'm relatively healthy and there isn't likely anything in those records that I'll need in the future, but my children are a different story. They have chronic ongoing illnesses and a complete record will be important for them as they grow older.

    Your study is flawed in several features: One the sample is way to small and the population isn't broad enough. 250,000 outpatient visits likely only represents about a month's worth of visits at a large medical complex such as Stanford. Two, only pulling out those visits from one geographical location only gives numbers that represent the benefit/loss for that location.

    Another flaw: there is NO common software that is used across health care facilities. Everyone uses their own thing and compatibility issues abound. The study didn't account for this enough and offered no solution for the problem.

    later on in the article you find that they averaged in facilities that haven't gone electronic in with those who have. That's like comparing apples and oranges. Of course someone in Poudonk, MN where they are barely out of the dark age, isnt' going to benefit from an electronic record because their docs are still using pencil and paper!

    However, my children's specialists have gone electronic and this makes things much easier when I have to call them in between appointments. How? Because they no longer have to search the racks for the paper records. everything the doc needs to know is at his fingertips with a click of the mouse. And that ain't bad. Expensive, perhaps. But not bad.
     
  3. billwald

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    At least we are now able to read our own prescriptions. <G>
     

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