MD News

Serving the Bay Area Medical Community

Electronic Records Transform Healthcare

Posted by Alex Gault on March 5, 2006

Electronic health records and health-information technology are poised to transform healthcare, forecasts Jo Ellen H. Ross, CEO of San Francisco-based consulting firm Lumetra. Specifically:

Pay for Performance. Effective treatment and preventative care will be measured, and doctors will be rewarded for achieving patient satisfaction and making effective use of computer technology. Local IT firms Cisco Systems, Intel and Oracle all offer financial incentives to doctors who adopt health-information technology as a means to deliver safer and higher quality care.

Health Information Technology. The same type of IT that allows us to bank online, check inventory, track the delivery of shipped packages and file taxes electronically is often absent in health-care delivery. Our paper-dominated medical record system is highly vulnerable — not to mention expensive and time-consuming to maintain.

Health-care Information Exchanges. The California Regional Health Information Organization (CalRHIO) — a nonprofit collaborative of California health-care providers, payers, government and consumer organizations — is leading the effort in California to build a highly secure network that can electronically move data when and where patients and their doctors need it.

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