LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - More and more doctors are turning mounds of paper into computer files, but there is still much to do. So, one of the cornerstones of the Obama Administration's efforts at health reform is to make all medical records electronic.
The stimulus package committed $19 billion to that effort. A survey Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that barely 1% of the nation's hospitals have electronic records. However, the Obama Administration has set a goal that the whole country's medical system to be electronic in five years. President Obama says, "This will cut waste, eliminate red tape, and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests".
Dr. Steven Corwin of New York Presbyterian Medical Center adds that, "When we put electronic ordering into place, all our physicians having to do electronic ordering, and our medication errors went down by about 80 percent".
Ultimately, the biggest challenge is that even in hospitals where they have already moved to electronic medical records many of those systems don't match so they still can't interact from hospital to hospital. Officials agree that ultimately, this is the future of medicine.