Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Healthcare That Puts a Computer on the Team

The New York Times is increasingly a reputable source for medical information that is timely but also relevant to the discussion about healthcare reform and asking ourselves as a society a simple question - are we getting value for our healthcare dollars?

The series - the evidence gap - is an excellent forum to review. Its article about how information technology / computers is improving the delivery of care is important to understand what the American healthcare could look like if all doctors and patients were hooked up as easily as we do now with email, web surfing, and blogging.

As someone who works at one of these organizations, I will never go back to paper-based records. The computer helps me review data quickly, share them with patients online, in the office, or over the telephone, and permits me to spend more face to face time.

Frankly, I despise reviewing paper charts, particularly for new patients joining my practice, not simply because of the amount of paper shuffling I need to do to find important clinical data to keep them healthy, but because a lot of their doctors have illegible handwriting, which alone jeopordizes patient safety.

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