The New York Times finally gets it on electronic medical records

Their recent editorial on electronic medical records is bang on, albeit a bit late, as their conclusions have been discussed on the medical blogs for the past year or so.

The NEJM study in March, showing a 1.5 percent hospital adoption rate for comprehensive digital records, probably finally persuaded them. They acknowledge that, even though money is the primary issue, cash alone won’t solve the problem.

What the influx of dollars will do is incentivize doctors and hospitals to all buy different systems that don’t talk to one another. Indeed, “the modernization effort will have limited value if a mélange of different computer systems can’t talk to one another.”

And will that really improve patient care and cut costs?

It’s highly unlikely.

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