Health groups, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices agreed to start taking steps to make electronic health records easier to access and use by consumers (patients). Most hospitals and doctors’ offices have gone electronic and digital, but they often do not communicate with each other. This limits patients’ access to certain documents. The head of the Health and Human Services department, Karen DeSalvo, states she believes this is the time for data to be free and available.
There is enough money to encourage the adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals and doctors’ offices. The results so far have not been what people expected because the different technologies and competitiveness among vendors. Health care providers have created obstacles.
The Associated Press says there has been an agreement announced recently, which 16 technology companies are active in the health care area. They represent about 90 percent of hospital electronic records nationwide.
These companies have pledged to improve consumer access, stop blocking health information sharing and secure digital communications. This would allow patients’ to access their records from one provider and transfer them to another easily. Some health care organizations have been blocking their information outside of their group, however, these technology companies are trying to stop this. Finally, to allow different health systems to communicate with each other easily.
Karen DeSalvo states that they will check with these companies this fall to see how much progress has been made.
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