IT: Cisco initiative targets doctors, medical groups

Cisco systems has launched a new project, led by Jeff Rideout, a chief medical officer who's previous job was at California Blue Shield, that encourages doctors to use technology and adopt pay-for-performance measures. BusinessWeek reports that the company is in talks with Intel, Oracle, and Hewlett Packard in an effort to use Silicon Valley's influence to push for adoption. Unlike government quality programs, which largely target hospitals, the plan focuses on doctors and medical groups. Cisco says it will provide financial incentives to Bay Area doctors who adopt electronic medical records and move to e-prescribing. The company is also trying to encourage doctors to use email to communicate directly with patients, a practice the company says cuts down sharply on workplace absences. Cisco says it will reimburse doctors for the "online consultations", addressing a major concern of many physicians who have been reluctant to use email.   

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