Digitizatizing Medical Records: What Are The Choke Points?
Digitizing Medical Records: What are the ChokePoints?

The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) held a February 9, 2006 forum at the Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, to discuss a key 'choke point' in the health care system, namely the conversion of patient medical records into electronic (i.e. digital) format.

It is thought that only 17 percent of doctors offices have converted their patient's paper records into electronic form. Less than one-third of emergency rooms have electronic access to patients records. As a result, the U.S. health care system is missing opportunities to use information technology to boost the quality of care and cut the cost of service.

Some of the topics touched upon included:

--- Why doctors' offices and hospitals have become choke points in the digital transformation process.

---The lack of common standards for digitized medical records.
---Misalignment of economic incentives.

---Absence of agreed-upon safeguards for protecting patient privacy.

Speakers included:

-U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.)

-Rob Atkinson, VP, PPI

-John Driscoll, Senior VP, Medco Health Solutions, Inc.

-David Lansky, Senior Director, Markle Foundation Health Program

-S. Robert Levine, M.D., Chair, PPI Health Priorities Project

-Jack Lewin, M.D., CEO, California Medical Association

-David Merritt, Project Director, Center for Health Transformation

-Deborah Peel, M.D., founder, Patient Privacy Rights Foundation

-Richard Pico, M.D., Chief Medical & Technology Officer, Perot Systems Corporation Healthcare Group

-David B. Kendall, Director, PPI Health Priorities Project

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