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Health

If doctors' offices are so high tech then why are my medical records still in a manila folder?

A Chicken
Swissrolli
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British scientists say chickens came first. Now who's going to take the first stab at digitizing trillions of pages of medical records?

This is a chicken-or-the-egg post. But in the old sense. Apparently some smarties got together and figured that one out (it was the chicken, btw). I suppose now they can focus on why the chicken crossed the road. Maybe to lay the first egg? 

Anyway...

Yesterday I reported a story about a $16 million grant awarded locally to improve the existing system of electronic medical record keeping.  

The goal is, of course, to get more doctors on board. Many (75%) do not contribute to the database because they see no need. There's such a small pool of records; chances are their patient is not in the system. So if no one contributes... and then its useless to the point of irrelveance to others...what's it going to take to get this thing off the ground (that's the chicken or the egg part)?

But just like the fact we now know the chicken came first and the cycle of life was then set in motion, the electronic medical record system is getting fertilized with federal money so it can lay its eggs...in a way.

Officials at the press conference this week claimed a bulkier system will cut back on unneeded treatments and overlapping remedies by different doctors. This, in turn, will lower medical costs. In fact, the grant requires a demonstration of this. 

Will $16 million do it? I don't care what anybody says; that's a lot of money. We'll have to wait and see. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

A little food for thought: isn't it ironic how every day there seems to be insanely complicated technology and medical discoveries cropping up and yet my medical records are still largely stored in manila folders?

I always thought it was possible the chicken and the egg could have been created at the same instant, with the bird gaining consciousness as it sits atop of a newly materialized baker's dozen. This federal grant kind of hopes to do that. 

We'll keep with this story to see how it plays out. In the meantime, we've covered this a bit before. Read up. Egg-cellent.