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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sharing Medical Data to Save Lives
In this long article, CIO Magazine reports that some cities, such as Indianapolis, are creating regional health information networks to share medical records between doctors and hospitals to save lives and money. In the example of Indianapolis, the "emergency rooms of the city's five major hospital groups share patient data via an electronic medical network," and 1,300 doctors have partial access to this network.

The first goal of such networks is of course to save lives, but in the case of central Indiana, it also could save more than $500 million per year. Of course, there are many hurdles to overcome, many of them financial: finding money to fund the networks or convincing doctors to invest in new technologies.

But the two biggest obstacles are human. First, less than a doctor over five is currently using electronic medical records (EMRs). And obviously, in our world where banks and payroll companies more or less routinely see some of their records leaked to the general public or even criminals, it's a little bit scary to think about your medical records flying over not so secure networks. But read these selected excerpts and my comments if you don't have enough time to read the original article.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:09 AM Comments (0)
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