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Medicine

Why Digital Medical Records Are No Panacea 367

theodp writes "As GE, Google, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and others pile into the business of computerized medical files in a stimulus-fueled frenzy, BusinessWeek reminds us that electronic health records have a dubious history. Under the federal stimulus program, hospitals can get several million dollars apiece for tech purchases over the next five years, and individual doctors can receive up to $44,000. There's also a stick: The feds will cut Medicare reimbursement for hospitals and practices that don't go electronic by 2015. But does the high cost and questionable quality of products currently on the market explain why barely 1 in 50 hospitals have a comprehensive electronic records system, and why only 17% of physicians use any type of electronic records? Joe Bugajski's chilling The Data Model That Nearly Killed Me suggests that may be the case."

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