Further to our previous post on Jeremy Hunt MP deciding to employ an US academic as his advisor on IT in the NHS some information from the US suggests things are not going particularly well ,the US has enough work to do getting its own house in order on IT systems and patient records.
Electronic Medical Records A Disappointment In The USA
“Seven years on (Electronic medical records arrived with a fanfare in 2005 in the US ), the evidence about the efficiency and safety of information technology in the USA is far from compelling. Annual healthcare spending has rocketed upwards by a whopping $800 billion every single year!
Co-author Spencer S. Jones, and Kellerman concluded that a much more compelling vision is required to attract funding into health information technology. They offer the following suggestions:
For health information to work properly, it needs to be stored in a single IT system and be easily retrievable by others, including physicians and hospitals, who belong to other health systems. The authors stress that this is vital, especially in emergency situations.
Patients should by right have easy and ready access to their electronic health information, in the same way a bank customer has access to his/her account data. Patients must be able to see their own records, share them with doctors and other health care professionals and providers of their choice.
Health information technology systems must be geared towards making a doctor’s job easier and more efficient. If all it does is add to his/her workload, it is a complete waste of money and time. Systems should be user-friendly, which the authors describe as “intuitive”. Busy health care providers should be able to use them easily without having to attend extensive training programs.
Physicians and other health care providers should be able to use systems across different health care settings with ease, in the same way a consumer drives various models and makes of cars.”
Electronic Medical Records A Disappointment In The USA Sunday 13 January 2013