Panacea or placebo: electronic health records come to the US

Jonathan M. Gitlin writes in Ars Technica:

Doctors’ poor handwriting might be a cliché, but being able to accurately read medical records can often be a matter of life and death. The ubiquity of the personal computer has allowed the clinic to enter the digital age, and given that computers excel at managing information, the development of electronic health records (EHR) has been a no-brainer. Despite this, EHR adoption in the US and elsewhere has been slower than some might like, and at least one presidential candidate has made their widespread adoption a healthcare policy platform plank, promising widespread savings through increased efficiency.

Unlike other software markets, where a single player controls the market (such as Microsoft with Office), or where there are but a few solutions, the EHR field is one of byzantine complexity. There are dozens of different software packages and competing products. In this article, we’ll look at the state of the EHR field, along with some of the benefits and problems associated with their use.

Full story – Ars Technica 

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