Monday, May 16, 2005

Electronic Medical Records: Nobody is Doing it Right

Mark Kleiman (I finally spelled it correctly) has a post on electronic medical records (EMR).  He points out that the VA hospital system has developed, at great cost, a system that actually works quite well.  My wife used to work for the VA, and she thought it was a great system.  There were some glitches connecting to the main hospital computer from satellite clinics, but there were workarounds that got the job done.

Apparently, there is an effort now to develop national standards for EMR.  Mark wonders why the government does not simply adopt the standards of the VA system for the national standards.  He points out that the system is in the public domain, so it shouldn't be difficult to do this.  I guess no trade secrets would be revealed. 
So why, in the scramble to develop a set of standards for national adoption, isn't there active consideration of simply making the VA system the national standard?
Of course, the private corporations that develop EMR systems would object, since they all have a vested interest in the standards.  In this post, I review some of the problems that would arise with the implementation of a national standard for EMR, and present some ideas for a system that would actaully make sense.  Continue reading here.