Wall Street Journal Looks at State of Health Care Information Technology
The United States is "woefully backward" in its use of information technology in health care, but several initiatives could help improve the nation's health care IT systems, the Wall Street Journal reports. For example, the Markle Foundation is leading a group of health care organizations in a project to share information based on common data standards. This network will connect providers, technology companies and government agencies and could form the basis for an electronic record of a patient's complete medical history. The record would compile information from physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and insurers, and patients would control access to the record. Other projects include Kaiser Permanente's planned $2 billion electronic medical record system and efforts by the Leapfrog Group, an employer coalition that has supported the adoption of computerized physician order entry systems. In addition, the Bush administration has pledged a 53% increase in funding for hospital IT use. But even if the health care industry embraces IT, adoption depends upon the industry's ability to develop data standards to support communication among systems, according to the Journal (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 7/1).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.