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London Hospital Reports Electronic Record System Doesn’t Work Well, Expensive

CNSNews has a story about the Royal Free hospital in London.  The head of the hospital reports that the electronic medical record system doesn’t work as originally promised and has resulted in increased overhead by staff and is more expensive than planned.  Mandatory national electronic medical records are a part of the “stimulus package” agreed by both the House and Senate.

Computerized Medical Records System Not Working Well at This English Hospital

Friday, February 13, 2009
By Staff

(CNSNews.com) – The head of the Royal Free hospital in London says the new system of computerized medical records is more expensive than expected and has resulted in fewer patients being seen by doctors, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

According to the newspaper, the National Programme for IT is supposed to create a centralized medical records system for 50 million patients in England. In the United States, a similar program is in the works: The stimulus bill about to be passed by Congress creates a government database that eventually will hold the personal medical records of all Americans.

According to Andrew Way, the chief executive of London’s Royal Free hospital, “[T]he introduction of the [computerized records system] at our hospital has caused much heartache and hard work and I would wish to pay tribute to our staff for all the difficulties they have faced during this time. It has been extremely difficult for them and has created a substantial additional workload.”

Way told the BBC he had been told the IT system would work better than it has.
The British program is designed to link more than 30,000 doctors to nearly 300 hospitals so they can share patients’ medical information.

The Guardian also said the centralized records system is raising fears about patient confidentiality.

See Guardian report

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