By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine took a serious look at ways that health care might change in the next twenty years. Think about it. Computers are being seen more and more in physicians’ offices and hospitals are becoming more and more electronic.
But, according to the journal, it is not just the introduction of what are called electronic medical records that should make a difference. The hope is that information gained from the compilation of all this patient data and the ability for doctor’s offices to communicate should revolutionize the way care is provided.
Critics say the computers are not ready for prime time and this may be partially true, but thought leaders in medicine feel once the technology improves, the continuity of care – the path a person takes from emergency room to hospital to home – and better health should go smoother.