I had planned to summarize the comments but the HealthCare IT Guy has already beat me to it. If you are interested in EMRs (electronic medical records) and what it means for health care go read the summary, original post and and the full comments.
Much of the commentary focuses us all in on the various purposes and reasons for implementing or not implementing EMR systems. Depending on whose agenda you look at the purposes/benefits/disadvantages change.
Like most lawyers I have more questions than answers:
- Do EMRs and technology allow doctors to provide better care?
- Will EMRs allow for the growth and potential benefit of evidence based medicine?
- Do EMRs impact patient safety?
- Do EMRs streamline health care and make providing it more efficient?
- Will EMRs ultimately reduce the cost of health care even if there is a increase in costs to implement and maintain the technology?
- Does better data mean better service?
- How can health insurers use data coming out EMRs to better manage costs? Will the data be used to negatively or positively impact the provision of care?
- How will the clinical encounter data coming from EMRs be used in the claims process? Will it have a positive or negative impact.
- What are the real motivations behind federal and state politicians jumping on the EMR bandwagon?
- How will we be able to get non-tech health care providers to efficiently and effectively use technology to provide better care? (If you think health care professionals are bad at using technology just visit your local law firm)
- Will patients even listen to good advice about preventative care, eating better and smaller portions, reducing weight, exercising more, etc. Will the data improve doctors ability to convince patients to make these lifestyle changes?
- Will the benefits of lower utilization as a result of changing health care lifestyle ultimately benefit the consumer, employers, the doctor, the hospital or will the insurer reap the financial benefits?