Bush to promote EMRs

The New York Sun reports that President Bush will announce a major new drive to encourage health care providers to adopt electronic medical records (EMR) technology in February. The President will request an additional $100 million to $200 million in funding for EMR projects. The newspaper reports the new initiative will include nationwide personalized medication histories, the increased use of email for secure messaging between physicians and patients and a drive for bio-surveillance programs for early detection of terrorist attacks and other public health threats. The comments came in an interview with Health IT czar Dr. David Brailer, who told the paper, "we're really ready to step up in 2006 for a pretty aggressive agenda."

The article slips in a good detail that rarely makes it in to stories about EMRs. White House adviser Barth Doroshuk, who runs a paperless practice using A4 Health Systems, notes that he has been able to reduce overhead significantly by maintaining a support staff-to-physician ratio of 2 to 1. According to MGMA statistics, the average ratio in a multispecialty physician practice is almost 5 to 1.

- see this article from the New York Sun