File under 'Hodgepodge'

By Adler, Jerry | Newsweek, May 18, 2009 | Go to article overview

File under 'Hodgepodge'


Adler, Jerry, Newsweek


Byline: Jerry Adler

We need a national system of electronic medical records.

If you're like most Americans, you like to take responsibility for your own health, even the aspects of it that you find boring, incomprehensible or just icky. You keep detailed records of every doctor's visit and medication, just like you do for every tax deduction, maybe even in the same shoebox. You know that your blood pressure is the one with two numbers, right? and that your hay fever cleared up with those yellow pills from Dr. What's Her Name, with the accent, and that you had your last checkup for colorectal cancer right after that series on the "Today" show. If that's you, you can stop reading this right now. Just remember to take the shoebox with you to the hospital.

Actually, it's not that simple. A major change is occurring in medical record keeping, driven by the embarrassing realization that until now the information systems that keep track of Americans' cancer treatments have mostly lagged behind the ones they use to buy movie tickets online. "Eighty percent [of small practices], which provide more than half the medical care in the country, do not have computerized clinical record keeping," says Dr. David Kibbe, a leading consultant on health-care technology. They keep patient records in file drawers; the doctors scribble prescriptions on pads of paper and communicate with other health-care providers by picking up the phone and calling. The Obama administration's economic-stimulus package allocates almost $20 billion to help move this jury-rigged system into the 21st century, including direct subsidies to physicians for purchasing health-records systems -- as soon as the nation figures out what the system should be.

In health-care think tanks there is frustration bordering on panic over the danger that the nation will miss a historic opportunity if millions of American doctors adopt a hodgepodge of stand-alone systems that don't readily communicate with each other. "Whatever is done has to be accompanied by a whole series of other changes," says Shannon Brownlee, Schwartz senior fellow for the New America Foundation, which is in the forefront of studying this issue. "There are a whole series of good little ideas in health care now, but if each is implemented separately it won't add up to an improvement. We'll end up digitizing a really bad system."

At a minimum, experts say, a national electronic health-records system should do the following:

* Permit immediate electronic information exchange between doctors, saving time on taking patients' history and money on tests or X-rays that may have already been performed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

File under 'Hodgepodge'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.