Technology assistance

BusinessWeek‘s Gene Marks feels sorry for doctors because of the way they are being forced to purchase technology.  The issues facing independent physicians:

For example, right now there are dozens and dozens of companies offering technologies that claim to provide electronic health records. And guess what? None of their systems talk to each other. Surprise! And none of them have the same architecture. And they don’t exchange data with all the same hospitals. That’s because most hospitals’ systems are all over the place too. What, you think those big hospitals actually have their act together?

Has such a high tech industry ever had so much trouble implementing personal technology?  Feel bad for physicians, yes.  That financial benefits of an EMR accrue to payers, hospitals, and to the larger system is but one reason.  But sooner or later, a minimum level of technology in the exam room is the price of entry, right?  So the U.S. federal government is on board with the stimulus bill—should assistance to physicians in purchasing technology end there?  Does the mandate preclude participation by commercial payers and hospitals?

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