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June 23, 2009

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Scott L. Burson

I am sure there is a lot of waste in the health care system, and your point, Andy, that providers have no incentive to reduce costs is well taken.

But I think you underestimate the difficulty of doing a good job of computerizing this information. It's very different from computerizing stock trading, which was all numbers and symbols already. Medical information is much more varied in nature and some of it is necessarily free-form. For a very interesting story of how things can go wrong, have a look at this: http://www.syleum.com/2009/03/17/healthcare-data-model/

While some of the commenters on that page are probably right that the problems went beyond the data model, I think it's still an important cautionary tale. A national medical records system needs to be designed very carefully, and unfortunately, government-funded IT projects are not noted for careful design (the FBI can tell you about this).

My own feelings are mixed. I agree that computerized records could be a good thing, but I fear the road to get there is going to be much longer and bumpier than people think. As Fred Brooks famously said about designing large software systems, "Plan to throw one [implementation] away. You will anyway."

Roy G Bryan

Andy, the records are not the problem. First, you need to define healthcare. The most rapidly growing portion of the medicare program are power wheelchairs. Is this healthcare? I think not. Is a free new knee for someone who gets sore on the golf course healthcare? We need the market to decide what is value and that means the patient must have "skin in the game" and pay for stuff. They must suffer an economic consequence if they choose to have care. Until that happens this all gets worse.

Brent Jarvis

Roy,there is no "the problem". There are many, many issues with the healthcare systems. Andy's article points out the major amounts of resources spent solely on administration (31%), and eHR is one approach to dealing with the major inefficiencies in that chunk. Once implemented, eHR can also lead to efficiencies in most other areas of healthcare.

I'm not sure why you consider going after "luxury" items as being the place to focus. Luxury is a symptom of the inefficiencies, and eHR is one extremely viable tool to attacking those inefficiencies.

Ayesha

Great article!

family practice emr

Technology in health care I think will definitely lead to better care and EMR could improve the quality and accuracy of medical-record documentation and improve quality of care.It truly has a big impact in our life especially in the field of medicine.

EMR Medical

Thanks for the reviews and article.

essay

They try to mislead the customers on this. This is alarming. I think people should be made aware on this scheme. Taking advantage does not a justifiable rule on this issue here. Unfair.

Pro Tech Reviews

@essay In this days there is no one fair..

Alex Coleman

Agree 100% with you. Our country must invest more money on the health of our people

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