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Military to Get New Electronic Medical System

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  • Military to Get New Electronic Medical System

    I am definitely not the most savvy when it comes to computers, so my question is this; Is there a concern about hackers accessing these electronic records? I would hate to see a person get a lobotomy instead of an appendectomy and I know "I" would be the one it happened to, as far as my luck goes.

    Published: Apr 9, 2009
    Military To Get New Electronic Medical System
    by Staff

    The U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs will create the first national electronic medical records system for the military, the White House announced on Thursday.

    The system should be designed to serve as a national model, following military personnel from active duty through retirement and keeping their records organized, the White House said in a statement.

    President Barack Obama was scheduled to give details of the plan later on Thursday.

    "Currently, there is no comprehensive system in place that allows for a streamlined transition of health care records between DOD and the VA," the statement read.

    "Both departments will work together to define and build a system that will ultimately contain administrative and medical information from the day an individual enters military service throughout their military career, and after they leave the military."

    Obama has stressed the use of electronic medical records and e-prescribing as a major part of his plan to transform the U.S. healthcare system and lower costs.

    The economic stimulus bill signed by Obama in February includes $19 billion for healthcare information technology.

    Fewer than 2 percent of U.S. hospitals have adopted fully functional electronic medical records, according to a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, and just 17 percent of American doctors have switched from paper records to electronic health records.

    This compares to 98 percent of doctors in the Netherlands and 89 percent in Britain.

    "The creation of this Joint Virtual Lifetime Record by the two organizations would take the next leap to delivering seamless, high-quality care, and serve as a model for the nation," the White House said.

    The initial statement did not say whether a commercial company would help design the electronic medical records.

    There are many, including Cerner Corp, Eclipsys Corp, Global Med Technologies Inc, Quality Systems Inc and Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc, IBM, General Electric Co Siemens AG and McKesson Corp.

    Wal-Mart Inc's, Sam's Club unit is offering individual doctors a package including software and Dell computers.

    Experts say any national system would have to connect easily to other systems while protecting privacy.

    (Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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