Feeds

IT revolution threatened for US health service

Electronic records, the works

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The US department of Heath and Human Services (HSS) has published an 10-year plan to revamp the healthcare system.

The great news for Americans is that the plans include the introduction of electronic health records (long-touted in the UK as the solution to everything that is wrong with the NHS); a network linking all these records together; and a bill for as much as$10bn.

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said that electronic health information will "provide a quantum leap in patient power, doctor power, and effective health care".

He also promised better patient access to records, through an Internet portal, and said that Medicare would accelerate regulations for electronic prescriptions.

Electronic Heath Records (EHR), just like the UK’s Electronic Care Records (ECR), will revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered, Thompson says. Firstly, they will save money – potentially reducing the health bill by 10 per cent. Next, they will improve privacy, decrease medical errors, provide better protection of medical records all at the same time as reducing administrative costs.

Britain has claimed all these things about the introduction of ECR. It would be fair to say the medical community has not responded universally positively. Although there are some readily apparent benefits to digitising health records, there are concerns about implementation. GPs in particular complain that they have not been consulted about the plans; and many NHS staff, and security specialists have serious concerns about the effect that centralised electronic records will have on patient confidentiality.

Already, observers in the US have expressed doubts, if only about the financial implications. In an article on ComputerWorld Mike Kappel, senior vice president of strategic planning at San Franciscan health care IT vendor McKesson, warns that the cost of implementing the system is likely to be pushed out to doctors and hospitals. He says the cost of the system could easily reach $10bn, and contrasts this with the government budget for healthcare IT: $50m this year and $100m the next. ®

Related stories

Patients, GPs to have a say on care record plans
How safe is your medical record?
Doctors divided over £2.3bn NHS IT project

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.