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From Paper To High-Tech: Remembering Last Ten Years In US Healthcare

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Believe it or not it’s been over ten years since the National Academy of Medicine took a serious look at what was mostly a paper based health system. There were problems like excessive blood tests, elevated cost, and fragmented care.

The government’s solution was the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act also known as high-tech.

A decade later just about every hospital in United States and about 80 percent of doctor’s offices use certified electronic health records to help treat the patient’s.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine has taken a look at that 10-year growth the pros and the cons.

On the negative side — many patients say doctors are more interested in typing on a computer than talking to them and physician satisfaction is at an all time low with many leaving medicine altogether.

On the positive side — patient’s can travel from hospital to hospital or city to city and the records will follow them.

Issues related to poor handwriting have been almost eliminated. There is a realization that much more needs to be done and health care still lags way behind other industries.

More from Dr. Brian McDonough

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