The feds have been pushing for electronic health records for years. In theory, a good idea. If doctor shared the information he or she has about you with your other doctors, you’d get more complete medical care.
But it’s not working out that way.
“Report Slams Digital Health Records,” Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2015 B4. Well, not so much as slam of the records as of the vendors, who charge big bucks to set up connections between different systems, require customers to use proprietary platforms, and make it hard to switch vendors. Hospitals make it hard, too, to share with others. And it’s hard to figure out who’s at fault, because the contracts have strong confidentiality provisions. As a result, although most doctors and hospitals have moved to electronic health records, only 30% can share the records with other providers.
Information doesn’t share itself. You need access. And privacy. And someone needs to make money.
Whose information is it, anyway? Why not give it all to me, and I’ll share it with my doctors? Cut out the middleman?