Electronic Medical Records A Disappointment In The USAMain Category: IT / Internet / E-mail
Also Included In: Public Health
Article Date: 13 Jan 2013
Electronic medical records arrived with a fanfare in 2005, promising huge cost savings, better accuracy and efficiency - most health care professionals and authorities have been disappointed, stating that systems overall are not user-friendly and badly integrated, says a new report issued by the Rand Corporation, a non-profit organization.
The authors of the new report state that the potential of health information technology to reduce spending as well as improve patient care will never materialize if health care providers do not reengineer their processes to focus on the benefits that could be achieved.
Dr. Art Kellermann, senior author, and Paul O'Neill Alcoa, Chair in Policy Analyziz at Rand, said jointly:
"The failure of health information technology to quickly deliver on its promise is not caused by its lack of potential, but rather because of the shortcomings in the design of the IT systems that are currently in place."
A team of IT experts from Rand Corporation in 2005 published an analysis that predicted "widespread adoption of health information technology" that would eventually save America over $81 billion in better delivery and efficiency of health care annually.
Today, seven years on, the evidence about the efficiency and safety of information technology in the USA is far from compelling. Annual healthcare spending has rocketed upwards by a whopping $800 billion every single year!
Co-author Spencer S. Jones, and Kellerman concluded that a much more compelling vision is required to attract funding into health information technology. They offer the following suggestions:
Learn from other countries, say some expertsSome say that the USA should liaise with other countries which have successfully created and implemented electronic health care records systems in a big way nationally, such as the United Kingdom.
Professor David Blumenthal of Harvard University, and Dr. Jenniffer Dixon, of the Nuffield Trust, UK, stress that in technology, organization and financing, the two nations could learn a a lot from each other. They said "Comparing health reforms in the USA and England seems to be an unlikely project: many people in both countries view the other as having a pariah health system that is not to be copied in any circumstance. But both countries are under pressure to get more value out of health care spending and reduce growth in expenditure to sustainable levels, and are consequently experimenting with new ways to encourage clinicians, patients, and institutions to help achieve this."
Several studies have looked at the benefits of electronic health records, with mixed results:
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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