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EMRs - Involving the Patient

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In this NEJM perspective, Drs. Paul Tang and Thomas Lee consider how much access a patient should have to information

But unlike the stand-alone models, integrated PHRs are essentially portals into the EHRs of patients' health care providers.2 They can offer patients as much access to data, scheduling resources, and communication among members of the health care team as providers are willing to permit. Some physicians are wary of letting patients see laboratory results and book their own appointments, but provider groups around the country are pushing the envelope and giving patients access to information and the ability to share it with others.

They see systems that involve the patient in a patient-provider partnership as key to influencing health related behaviors.

Should the Obama administration be pushing for more than just interoperable EMRs?  What else should a Health IT system be asked to do?

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  1. James E. Eichel, M.D.


    The use of EMR in primary care will not increase until the cost comes down and the efficiency of EMR systems improves. For most practitioners, the EMR systems that are available require an enormous initial investment of time and capital without any hope of recovering any of the cost or the time spent. It doesn't make sense for most of us to move forward. We will likely need high-quality voice-operated systems at a cost of about 10% of the $100,000 per practitioner costs we see here in the San Francisco area to make EMR a viable option for most of us.

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