And yet one more report on the return on investment...electronic medical records.  Also, a small practice can really get started for much less than quoted in this article too...any electronic records sure beats a paper chart at any office or hospital.  Many offices use the excuse of waiting until something big and better arrives, but that is about in the same area as to when you bit the bullet and purchase a PC.  Most electronic records allow for exporting to other formats, so even if later the system changed, why not have something to transfer at that point!  It usually takes an IT specialist to accomplish this in most instances, but for gosh sakes it sure beats the labor and time compared to scanning paper charts or having to sort through a huge file of Word documents stores on a file server.  I see this at many offices as well, drives just full of unsecured Word documents with patient data, data than cannot be used in a data base program without some manual manipulation of each record.  Word documents are not electronic records, they are just take up a whole lot of room and again, most are not even protected in the offices I visit.  BD

BURLINGTON, Mass. - Doctors at the Lahey Clinic outside Boston treat patients with stethoscopes and handheld computers in tow.

From these handhelds, they record visits, prescriptions and tests for each patient in one electronic file, an effort that enables them at a later date to pull out complete medical records for patients instantly. That speed and accuracy is most valuable in cases of emergency.

“It really has made it easier for clinicians,” said Dr. David Barrett, CEO of Lahey Clinic. “We feel good about what we're doing because we know it's going to be accurate.

Hospitals play catch-up in digitizing records - CNBC Special Report: Healing Health Care -


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