Electronic Records Projects Lag at San Diego Hospitals
Most hospitals in San Diego County have adopted some form of an electronic health record system, but they still remain years away from full-scale EHR adoption, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Stephen Carson of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation in 2003 said that San Diego County was just a year away from creating a regional information network to connect 19 hospitals and dozens of physician practices. "I was really naïve in my thinking and understanding," he recently said.
EHR adoption has been more difficult and expensive than expected because:
- Many providers have experienced difficulties integrating new software systems into current systems;
- The health care and software industries have been slow to adopt technical standards needed for interoperability;
- Some providers have been hesitant to invest in technology without assurance that it will create financial savings; and
- Maintaining patients' privacy while creating systems to share data remains a challenge.
The San Diego Medical Society Foundation's five-year-old San Diego Medical Network Exchange, or SD MINE, in a few weeks will launch a one-year program that will use an Internet portal to help uninsured emergency department patients at seven hospitals apply for government health programs and to refer patients to a community clinic for routine care.
A $320,000 Blue Shield Foundation grant will fund the program, and Carson said he hopes the savings will encourage hospitals to invest in maintaining the program for the long term and expanding SD MINE, the Union-Tribune reports.
Other medical records projects are underway at:
- Kaiser Permanente ;
- Sharp HealthCare ;
- Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside ; and
- UC-San Diego's Thornton Hospital in La Jolla (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/20).
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