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Fixing our EHR mess: What needs to be done Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Campbell, MD | KevinMD   
Thursday, 22 September 2016 00:00

In 2009 the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was signed into law by President Obama and this law quickly changed the way medicine in the United Sates is practiced. The law was a first step in requiring all physicians to utilize electronic records. The president promised that creating and electronic record mandate for physicians would result in a national, universal electronic medical record system and improve care and communication. Ultimately, the legislation that required EMR implementation in 2009 began the process of penalizing physicians who do not use them and started a lucrative business for healthcare IT vendors such as Allscripts, EPIC, Cerner and many others. The requirements to implement EMR resulted in thousands of physician practices having to make harsh financially motivated decisions - either close the doors or sell out to larger healthcare systems.

Certainly, EMR systems do have their benefits - standardized documentation and portability all improve care. When a patient travels and has an illness care is improved when another hospital and provider can easily access long-term medical records. Communication between physicians of different specialties and organizations is significantly improved.

However, EMR vendors have not yet created exchangeable, universal systems as Mr. Obama promised they would.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 24 September 2016 10:22

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