Health IT Funding Raises Security Concerns; Some Hospitals Face Barrier To Funding
The Richmond Times-Dispatch wonders: "Two big questions yet to be answered with electronic health records are: Do they save money? And can they be made 100 percent secure? The verdict is still out on both. The thought of one's personal medical information being just a computer click away does not sit well with many consumers." The paper reviews several surveys from last year to note that "security is on everyone's mind" (Smith, 4/5).
Medical practices such as Virginia Urology have incorporated electronic records on their own initiative because it "made sense," the Times-Dispatch reports in a separate story. The practice's 10 locations means coordinating patient care electronically is an advantage. But, a physician there says, "It's not easy or it would have happened a long time ago" at other practices. Federal investments seek to change that. "Area hospitals are at various stages of integrating electronic health records" (Smith, 4/5).
Some hospitals may find themselves out of luck because of technicalities, according to The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press. "Lee Memorial Health System could lose $10 million in federal stimulus money for its conversion to electronic medical records over the definition of one word - hospital." The health system shares a Medicare provider number with HealthPark Medical Center. That means that, together, they equal only one hospital and are therefore eligible for only one set of federal subsidies. Doctors at the hospital, a local congressman and hospital associations are lobbying to fix the problem (Gluck, 4/4).