By Katherine Hobson
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A current article in the WSJ quotes Politico.
The Wall Street Journal Reports. The Obama administrations plan for implementing electronic medical records is getting some pushback. Health-industry groups including the AMA and American Hospital Association are calling the digitization requirements too much, too soon, Politico reports.
At issue are the grants available under the stimulus bill to doctors and hospitals showing meaningful use of electronic health records. Early signs are that meeting that meaningful use standard will be tough, with about 24 requirements by 2011, Politico says. (A final rule is expected this month.)
Its tough for doctors offices and hospitals to fully digitize their operations in that short period, and not clear that early returns on systems allowing such things as digitally transmitted prescriptions or patient access to electronic records will show gains in either costs or quality of care, Politico says. Suggestions include pushing back the deadline or, as one HHS official says, a partial credit system.
While a rapid conversion to electronic records has its fans, there are plenty of doctors, hospitals and policymakers sounding cautionary notes, particularly about that rapid part. There are technical and patient privacy issues, large up-front investments that may only pay off down the line, and questions from physicians about how it will affect their relationships with patients.