Electronic medical records not seen as a cure-all

The Washington Post, October 25, 2009 — Alexi Mostrous
In a health-care debate characterized by partisan bickering, most lawmakers agree on one thing: American medicine needs to go digital. When President Obama designated $19.5 billion to expand the use of electronic medical records, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said it was one of only “two good things” in February’s stimulus package. But such bipartisan enthusiasm has obscured questions about the effectiveness of health information technology products, critics say. Interviews with more than two dozen doctors, academics, patients and computer programmers suggest that computer systems can increase errors, add hours to doctors’ workloads and compromise patient care…

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