In his economic policy statement today, President-Elect Obama reiterated his goal of electronic medical records for the country. He stated that this is fiscally responsible, as it alleviates the cost of maintaining paper records, and will reduce medical errors and their subsequent cost. Here is a quote from his statement transcript, taken from the Wall Street Journal website:
“To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its cost, we will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized. This will cut waste, eliminate red tape, and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests. But it just won’t save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs – it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health care system.”
Does this seem feasible? Will electronic medical records produce this kind of financial and patient safety change? Does it have a privacy cost? Should patients have access to these records?Any thoughts or discussion on this issue is welcome.
MITSS Support Team Member