Making investments in improving patient care
A Honolulu Star Bulletin article yesterday described an investment of $50 million by the Hawaii Medical Services Association in improving patient care, including $20 million towards helping its 1000 physicians implement electronic medical records (EMRs) (up to half the cost of a system per physician). It's great to see medical communities coming together this way to help small practices overcome the financial barriers. EMRs help not only in emergencies, but (ultimately, if systems become interoperable as we hope) as patients move throughout the health care system, accumulating tests and prescriptions, providing a way for providers to get an overview of the patient, and not just whatever the patient happens to be able to remember of his or her other care. It's also a great way for practices to monitor their quality of care.
health care quality
electronic medical records