Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Electronic Health Records: A Study and Perspective

Steve Lohr, March 6, 2012, "Electronic Health Records: A Study and Perspective," The New York Times Bits Blog.

From the opinion: "A lot of physicians complain that the advantages of electronic health records are oversold, and that they can be complex and confusing. Yet when well designed, the technology can improve the practice of medicine…. An electronic health record is a tool, one that will be used by people in response to the incentives they are given. The American health care system is predominantly fee-for-service. Doctors and hospitals are reimbursed delivering more treatment, so we get more of everything — tests, surgeries, pills.

The drive to pay health providers based more on what economists call outcomes — healthier people — instead of inputs, like tests, is under way.

The big savings in American health care, most experts agree, will come from making sure people with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, manage their conditions, stay healthy and out of hospitals." Read more