Health IT Roundup: Buyers’ Remorse, Usage SurveyHuffington Post Investigative Fund: The federal government has made investing in electronic medical records a priority by channeling billions of dollars to help doctors and hospitals go paperless, "[b]ut there's also concern that the government may not be doing enough to ensure that taxpayer money isn't wasted on faulty systems. What's more, doctors often have little expertise in buying electronic health records, commonly called EHRs, and do not always know what questions to ask or what protections they should push for in their contracts, several industry consultants said in interviews." In one "extreme example," a physician group spent $400,000 for a system that never worked right and the software vendor went bankrupt (Schwartz, 1/29).
American Medical News: A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey "showed that while more physicians are embracing health information technology, it's not a full embrace. Doctors are starting slowly, with individual functions such as electronic prescribing." While 43.9 percent of doctors are using electronic medical records, up from 34.8 percent in 2007, only 6.3 percent have "fully functional systems," compared with 3.8 percent in 2007. "The survey did not include systems used for billing" (Dolan, 2/1). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.