EHRs called 'wrong prescription' for automating healthcare

Many have likened the national push to automate healthcare to John F. Kennedy's 1961 goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, but that's where the parallels end, one IT manager says. Writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sameh Abdelaziz of Marietta, GA, says that the Obama administration's focus on EHRs is akin to Kennedy dictating the type of rocket that would get us to the moon, rather than leaving that decision up to the scientists.

"The focus on health care automation to squeeze excesses and improve quality is the right goal," Abdelaziz writes. "However, forcing an electronic health record system as the pathway to reap the benefits of automation represents a total misunderstanding of the legitimate reasons behind why U.S. healthcare has been slow to adopt these systems."

Instead of following this "wrong prescription," Abdelaziz argues in favor of data interchange to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time. "The most interesting outcome of establishing such an interchange is that the patient's electronic record becomes a product instead of a condition to build the system," he says.

For more:
- check out Abdelaziz's Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed piece