KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Digital Medical Records Continue To Trigger Difficult Issues

News outlets report on challenges associated with the push to go digital in the next five years.

Center for Public Integrity: Will Digital Technology Reduce Gap In Health Between Rich and Poor?
Although the federal government is directing billions of dollars in economic stimulus money to get electronic health record technology into hospitals and clinics nationwide, some doctors and small clinics indicate they're unlikely to meet the Obama administration's goal of going digital in the next five years.That possibility is raising concern among health care specialists both inside and outside the federal government, who worry that the benefit of the technology may disproportionately fall to top health care facilities, potentially increasing the so-called digital divide - and as a result, health disparities between rich and poor and between different races (Schwartz, 1/11).

The Denver Post: Amid Risks, Bid To Digitize Colo. Health Records Continues
What began last June with a missing government computer drive small enough to hold in one hand led to 100,000 letters of apology to Medicaid patients, a probe by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and a retraining program for 31,000 state employees. That security breach now reverberates throughout a major 2011 push for digitizing patient medical records in Colorado (Booth, 1/11).

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