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Reality of Electronic Medical Records Has Yet to Live Up to The Promise

A decade in the past, the U.S. authorities claimed that ditching paper medical charts for digital information would make well-being care higher, safer and cheaper. Ten years and $36 billion later, the digital revolution has gone awry, an investigation by Kaiser Wellbeing Information and Fortune journal has discovered.

Veteran reporters Fred Schulte of KHN and Erika Fry of Fortune spent months digging into what has occurred because of this.

Listed below are five takeaways from the investigation.

The affected person hurt: Digital well-being information has created some dangers to affected person security. Alarming stories of deaths, critical accidents and close to misses — 1000’s of them — tied to software program glitches, person errors or different system flaws have piled up for years in authorities and personal repositories. But no central database exists to compile and examine these incidents to enhance security.

Indicators of fraud: Federal officers say the software program might be misused to overcharge, a apply generally known as “upcoding.” And a few medical doctors and well-being methods are alleged to have overstated their use of the brand new know-how, a doubtlessly huge fraud in opposition to Medicare and Medicaid more likely to take years to unravel. Two software program-makers have paid a complete of greater than $200 million to settle fraud allegations.

Gaps in interoperability: Proponents of digital well-being information anticipated a seamless system so sufferers might share computerized medical histories in a flash with docs and hospitals anyplace in the USA. That has but to materialize, primarily as a result of officers allowed lots of competing companies to promote medical-data software program unable to trade info amongst each other.

Physician burnout: Many medical doctors say they spend half their day or extra clicking pull-down menus and typing somewhat than interacting with sufferers. An emergency room physician could be saddled with making as much as 4,000 mouse clicks per shift.

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