Overheard: Word of the Day

Feb 17 2009   1:04PM GMT

Overheard – What’s holding up electronic health records?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that passed Congress last week allocates $19 billion to establish centrally linked health data infrastructure to contain the health information of “each American” by 2014 and to set up the new office of the “National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.”

Fred Lucas, ‘Exceptions’ in Stimulus Bill Allow Sale of Health Records

The banking industry successfully moved to electronic records. What’s really so different about health care?

For the life of me, I can’t understand what the holdup is for electronic health records. It seems like a no-brainer with a lot of components, like HIPAA already in place. Yesterday’s article in the Washington Post attempts to explain some of the issues — but as I read it, I found myself shaking my head.

I don’t buy “privacy” or “security” or even “lack of standards.”  Like all things, it probably comes down to money and profit.  Let’s hope Obama’s $19 billion finally gets the ball rolling.

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