e-SKOLAR: Stanford’s Web Site Both Revolutionary and Primitive
A Fresno Bee editorial examines Stanford University's new Web site, e-Skolar, which provides doctors with an updated electronic medical journal. As described in a recent New York Times article, e-Skolar represents "one of several looming uses of the Internet that will revolutionize the doctor-patient encounter." Despite their vital function as "the only hope that busy doctors have to keep current," these medical databases are "primitive given the range of possible medical uses of the Internet," the Fresno Bee asserts. If health care providers had a thoroughly streamlined Internet-based medical system, the editors write: "The doctor could quickly click to draft the appropriate treatment plan. The health plan could instantly approve any prescription," pay the doctor electronically and transmit that prescription to the neighborhood pharmacy. They conclude that while "Web sites such as e-Skolar remind us that the technology is here to transform the doctor-patient relationship," other questions remain unanswered. "Who will pay for these wonderful new information systems?" they ask. "What software will become the industry standard?" Also, how does one ensure that the technology supplements the doctor-patient encounter and that medical records on the Internet remain confidential? The editorial concludes that the success of e-health requires quick resolution of these issues (6/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.